Dons U-21s too strong for Bournemouth
A superb volley from Callum Wilson rounded off another impressive victory for AFC Wimbledon in the Final Third Development League.
Wilson (pictured) notched the third to kill off Bournemouth’s second-half fightback after first-half goals from George Oakley and trialist Ibby Akanbi and it was a 3-1 win that certainly never flattered the Dons.
The margin of victory against AFC Bournemouth may not have been as comprehensive as the previous 4-0 victory at Cambridge United, but it was arguably a better all-round performance from AFC Wimbledon's Under-21s.
First-teamer Ade Azeez had produced a virtuoso performance on that occasion, but this was a win that was a tribute to great team work from everyone in blue and yellow. Two wins out of two in the Final Third Development League is certainly a record to be proud of for coach Alan Reeves, but he was more impressed afterwards with the work ethic and application of his side.
Though Premier League Bournemouth did not field any of their first-teamers, they did select recent signing Tomas Andrade, who had joined on loan from Argentinian club River Plate, along with trialist Jeremi Kimmakon, who had first-team experience with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Dons had Ryan Sweeney making his comeback at the heart of defence and he produced an accomplished display in his first match after recovering from a broken nose.
There was a setback for Wimbledon in the pre-match warm-up of a game played at Hamworthy FC as David Fitzpatrick had to pull out with an ankle injury and his place in midfield was taken by Jason Stripp.
minute when Oakley pounced on a defensive lapse and beat Bournemouth goalkeeper Callum Stanton with a deft lob.thWimbledon started on the front foot and it was 1-0 to the visitors in just the 10
The Dons were rampant after that opener and it was so nearly 2-0 shortly afterwards. Wilson, who offered good support to Egli Kaja on the right flank all afternoon, let fly with an excellent 20-yard drive that Stanton did well to tip onto a post. Stripp, who looked at home after stepping up from the Under-18s, also fired over after good forward play by Akanbi.
Bournemouth just could not cope with an excellent all-round display from Wimbledon and Neset Bellikli came close with a free-kick from just outside the area, which the overworked Stanton tipped wide. Bellikli and Kaja offered good width on the flanks to make the most of possession effectively utilised by Dan Gallagher and Stripp in the centre of the park.
At the other end, Bournemouth had largely been kept quiet with Dons goalkeeper Joe McDonnell untested in the first half. When they did get through, Sweeney offered stubborn resistance and he showed fine strength to stop Ben Whitfield going through on goal. Wimbledon earned the two-goal advantage that was fully deserved when Stripp sent through a lovely defence-splitting pass and Akanbi produced a clinical finish that left Stanton with no chance.
Bournemouth started the second-half more positively and the deficit was halved 10 minutes after the break. Ben Harrison was penalised for a foul in the area and Bournemouth captain Sam Matthews slotted home from 12 yards. Wimbledon had to show different qualities after the break with resilience required to defy a much-improved Bournemouth display in the second-half. However, Kaja shot just wide after good work by Oakley as Wimbledon remained a threat in attack.
The hosts struggled to make the most of better possession after the break and they were going to have to do better than a free-kick from Matthews that McDonnell gathered fairly comfortably. Coach Alan Reeves made a double change with 17 minutes left. The Under-18 forward pairing of Dan Ano and Jayden Antwi ended the match up front with Oakley and Akanbi both withdrawn.
Though Henry Lander shot wide in the latter stages, Bournemouth never really looked like equalising and they were killed off in emphatic fashion before the end. Harrison picked out Wilson with a brilliant through ball and the full-back gave it the finish it deserved with a lovely volley that left Stanton with no chance.
Jason Stripp, Neset Bellikli, Egli Kaja, George Oakley (Dan Ano), Ibby Akanbi (Jayden Antwi).AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Callum Wilson, Ryan Sweeney, trialist, Ben Harrison, Dan Gallagher,