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Dons pay for late lapses

6 December 2016

Good attacking display just fails to yield all 3 points for U-18s

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s squandered a great chance to secure all three points at Northampton, but James Oliver-Pearce was encouraged by the performance.

Shorn of six regulars who were required for the development squad against Middlesbrough, the young Dons marched into a 2-0 lead with a great spell of football, before having to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Under-18s assistant manager Oliver-Pearce said: “There were plenty of positives from the performance with so many boys missing. We showed excellent quality, both in and out of possession. With a much younger side out, it is important that they learn how to manage the game when in the lead and continue to do the things that got them in that position.

“It will be a real learning curve for the Under-16s stepping up to understand how they need to be switched on tactically, otherwise they will be punished. The boys feel gutted that they haven’t won the game, but we will move on into next week’s important game against Peterborough.”

minute when excellent combination play between Wood and Antonio Walker resulted in a reverse pass for the on-rushing Ethan Nelson-Roberts, who calmly slotted home.thThe young Dons started brightly with Man of the Match Nathan Wood (pictured) initiating the opening goal. It was his fine cross that was met by Nick Akoto and though the Northampton keeper just managed to keep it out, Tino Carpene showed a great poacher’s instinct to score. It was 2-0 in the 14

There was no sign of Wimbledon resting on their laurels and it was so nearly 3-0 when Callum Phillip’s well executed chip beat the keeper, but struck the outside of a post. Due his involvement in the Premier League cup tie against Middlesbrough, Tom Scott was withdrawn at half-time and replaced by Osaze Urhoghide. However, Sean Bird, Dean Perana and Urhoghide continued to deal with anything that came their way.

Wood almost added a third in the second-half, before pacey Tyler Burey quickly showed great attacking intent on his debut. An impressive solo run ended with a strike well saved by the Northampton keeper. With 10 minutes left, the hosts pulled one back after a short free-kick was not dealt with by the Dons defence. However, Wimbledon were so unfortunate not to register a third when Wood set-up Nelson-Roberts and his fine effort crashed off the crossbar. There was a cruel sting in the tail for Wimbledon in the final minute of normal time when Northampton centre-back Ben Toseland took aim from 35 yards and his powerful drive flew into the far right corner.

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