Manager salutes "excellent" performance
Mark Robinson praised AFC Wimbledon Under-18s for an “excellent” demonstration of football after his side struck six second-half goals against Northampton.
Following a difficult first 45 minutes, all the goals in a 6-0 win came after the break with FA Youth Cup hero Alfie Egan (pictured) striking a double and Antonio Walker, Reece Williams-Bowers, Toyosi Olusanya and Toby Sibbick also on target.
The match on Saturday was played on Tooting & Mitcham United’s 3G surface with Northampton’s pitch deemed as unplayable.
“We played quite well in the first-half, but we were just not effective enough,” said Mark Robinson. “At half-time we talked about what Northampton were doing and how we could cause them more problems. I was pleased that the boys knew the answers and even more pleased that they went out and put it into action straight away.
“We really did play some excellent football in the second-half and I think any U-18 side would have struggled to handle our mixture of play. The movement was very dynamic with our long and short passing also very precise. It’s clear that the boys are enjoying their football and are in a good place right now, but they are not achieving any more than they are capable of. They always need to be looking at the bigger picture.”
A sixth successive victory for the young Dons secured a place in the top half of the Football League Youth Alliance League, meaning they will also face the best teams from the South West during the remainder of this season.
Wimbledon were restricted to half chances before the break and at the other end goalkeeper Will Mannion had to deal well with a succession of Northampton corners to keep the hosts level. At half-time the message from the manager was to start turning possession into chances by disrupting Northampton’s organised shape.
minute, this time Wood sending over a wonderful cross for Egan to volley home from six yards.thIt did not take long into the second-half for Wimbledon to find a cutting edge. Nathan Wood produced a pinpoint cross to pick out Alfie Egan and he headed home emphatically at the far post. The same combination worked perfectly to double the advantage in the 56
Just before the hour Egan turned provider when he released Olusanya, who was too quick for his marker and finished smartly from 16 yards. The Dons made a triple substitution with Judah Chapman, George Marchant and Bowers all entering the fray for Reece Batchelor, Louie Cockle and Olusanya.
All three substitutes made fine contributions, Chapman helped Egan and Jason Stripp to control midfield, Marchant looking solid at the back alongside Paul Kalambayi and Sibbick, and Bowers showed good link-up play with Dan Ano in attack. Though Mannion made a brilliant fingertip save to stop Northampton getting one back, the Dons added another 12 minutes from time. Egan found Walker, who drove across the pitch, leaving two players in his wake, before finishing effortlessly into the corner from 19 yards with his supposedly weaker left foot.
It was five with eight minutes left when a corner from Wood was met by Sibbick and he smashed home well from 10 yards. There was still time for Wimbledon to make it six in style, Bowers beating his man with a lovely piece of skills and finishing clinically after being set-up by Egan.
Man of the match for Wimbledon was Antonio Walker.