Jayden Antwi hits hat-trick in just 25 minutes
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s had the perfect morale booster heading into Saturday’s FA Youth Cup tie at Huddersfield as they struck five goals without reply past Peterborough.
A hat-trick from substitute Jayden Antwi (pictured) and goals from Anthony Hartigan and Nathan Wood secured an impressive 5-0 victory that sets the young Dons up well for the third round tie in Yorkshire.
Throughout the first half on Saturday, the Dons produced excellent attacking football and Reece Williams-Bowers, Nathan Wood, Tino Carpene, Ethan Nelson-Roberts and Judah Chapman all came close to making a breakthrough. However, the deadlock was broken in style a minute before the break through a fine team goal. Hartigan started and finished a move involving Nick Akoto, Bower and Carpene, who crossed superbly for the in-form midfielder to head home.
The Dons started the second half in similar fashion and when Posh did venture forward they found Sean Bird, Paul Kalambayi and Osaze Urgohide in dominating form at the back. Due to injury, the outstanding Hartigan had to be replaced by Tom Scott on 52 minutes and two minutes later Mark Robinson made four more changes with Huddersfield in mind. Jayden Antwi replaced the effective Carpene, Antonio Walker replaced the excellent Urgohide, Dean Perana entered the fray for Kalambayi and Callum Phillips replaced the impressive Bowers.
A long clearance from a Dons corner was dealt with cleverly by Walker, who then found Antwi with a great pass and he left his marker trailing in his wake, before lobbing the keeper from 18 yards. The changes did not affect Wimbledon’s dominance and a second goal arrived when Wood and Roberts combined, the latter finding Antwi, who skipped inside his markers before finishing brilliantly from 19 yards. The Dons were now really enjoying themselves and with Chapman and Roberts controlling midfield, they kept creating chances. On 75 minutes, pressure paid off and it was 3-0.
There was still more to come from Wimbledon. Eleven minutes from time Akoto’s brilliant cross was deflected against the crossbar and Antwi volleyed home to complete a hat-trick in just 25 minutes. It was five in injury-time when the mesmerising ball mastery of Walker saw him skip past several challenges, before pulling back a cross for Wood, who finished clinically from 14 yards.
Manager Mark Robinson said: "I am not very easily pleased and I always spend most of my time working out how we can be better as a team and individually, but for the first few hours after this match at least I felt very satisfied by what I saw. It was not just the football we played and how the boys took training sessions into a match situation, but it was the hunger and desire they showed. The boys were eager to get back on the ball as quickly as possible when we did not have it and every single player was willing to put their neck on the line for each other.
“There is more in there – I know that for a fact - but it was certainly a nice big positive step forward. There was not one player who was below very good and there were quite a few who were outstanding. I was really happy that Nathan got his goal at the end because he has been brilliant in the last few weeks, the only thing lacking from him had been a goal so I am sure it will be the start of many. There is an U-21 game on Tuesday and I am sure some of the boys will be involved in it. Then we will start our preparation for Huddersfield on Thursday, although we have already drip-fed them a few ideas that appeared to work well against Peterborough.”
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Judah Chapman.