Goal from Jayden Antwi earns victory
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s made it four games unbeaten with victory against Milton Keynes on Saturday, but manager Mark Robinson said afterwards that there is still room for improvement.
Jayden Antwi (pictured left with Mark Robinson) rewarded Wimbledon’s early domination with what turned out to be the only goal in a 1-0 home win.
“The first half an hour we were excellent,” said Mark Robinson. “Everything we had worked on in training we put into action and with a little more composure and better decision-making we could have been out of sight. The game became a little more stretched, but against a side renowned for scoring lots of goals (12 in their last three games), we restricted them to very little.
“Although we spent most of the game in the ascendancy, I was really pleased with our defenders as their concentration was excellent and Toby Sibbick put in a commanding performance. I have had a few issues with the performance of players in terms of work-rate, but that was not the case today or last week.
“They have no excuses now that I have seen them do it. There is still room for plenty of improvement, but it does feel like some of the information is starting to go in and stay in. If it continues, the boys will develop further and more often than not the results will be positive because they are a talented group.”
It took just two minutes for Wimbledon to threaten a goal on Saturday with Dan Ano denied by the MK goalkeeper. The Dons came even closer when Paul Kalambayi headed just over from the subsequent corner. During an impressive first half hour from Wimbledon, Ano, Antwi, Reece Batchelor and Nathan Woods all came close to an opener.
The best was still to come from Wimbledon though as Reece Williams-Bowers rattled the crossbar with a superb 25-yard effort. Antwi also had a goal ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper. At the other end, Wimbledon’s back-three of Batchelor, Sibbick and Kalambayi offered solid resistance with Seanan McKillop, Jason Stripp and Williams-Bowers controlling midfield ahead of them.
The goal Wimbledon deserved arrived after 30 minutes and it was well-worked in its execution. McKillop combined brilliantly with Neset Bellikli, who left two defenders in his wake, before delivering a fine cross that Antwi finished well from eight yards.
Wimbledon started the second half brightly and it was so nearly 2-0 when Stripp had an effort well saved. The game became a little more stretched in the second-half though and just after the hour Mark Robinson decided to make a change when Alfie Egan replaced Stripp, who had continued his impressive recent form for the Under-18s and Under-21s.
minute, there was a reprieve for Wimbledon as MK had an effort that bounced off the crossbar. With 20 minutes to go, Antonio Walker replaced Ano as the Dons switched to a back four in an effort to regain supremacy. This gave the Dons better shape again as they enjoyed more of the ball and offered greater threat. Louie Cockle entered the fray for Williams-Bowers 14 minutes from time and he was a good influence in the final stages.thIn the 68
Wimbledon so nearly sealed victory in style when a brilliant move involving McKillop, Egan and Cockle ended with Woods having an effort cleared off the line. Though Kalambayi was required to make a brilliant last-ditch clearance close to the goal-line, one turned out to be enough and Wimbledon were full value for the win.
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Seanan McKillop.