U-18s also won league match in historic week
A brilliant week for the AFC Wimbledon Academy started with an impressive victory against Barnet.
Due to games being cancelled over Christmas, the U-18s had to play a Football League Youth Alliance fixture at Barnet on Tuesday, just a day before that superb FA Youth Cup victory against Newcastle United.
A squad including those who did not make the 16 for Newcastle, along with U-15s and U-16s, teamed up to triumph 2-0 with Louie Cockle (pictured right above with Mark Robinson) as man of the match.
Managed by U-14 coach Tom Hounsell and U-15/16 coach Ben White, the team edged a tight match with trialist Reggie Young striking the opener just before the hour.
Victory was sealed in style five minutes from time when 15-year-old Anthony Hartigan scored with an audacious 50-yard lob.
Reece Batchelor made an impressive return from long-term injury with a 45-minute run-out at centre-back, starting the game alongside U-15 Reuben Collins.
Mark Robinson said: “While we were travelling up north to Newcastle, we were being updated about the game and I am immensely proud of the boys. Antonio Walker and Louie Cockle had just missed out on the squad and the feedback I had was that their attitude was outstanding. They both performed excellently, according to the feedback I got.
“The U-16 boys performed brilliantly with Anthony Hartigan again showing his class. To have U-15s Reuben Collins and Jack Rudoni in there as well is very exciting for the future. I am every bit as excited about this result as the Newcastle one because it shows the future is bright and we have boys with great character. The U-18s who played at Barnet then travelled up to Newcastle the next day to support their team-mates. I would like to thank Tom and Ben for stepping in to manage the team and doing a great job.”
The Under-18s were today due to round off a busy week with a league match at Milton Keynes. With the squad having put so much into Wednesday night's win at Newcastle, Mark Robinson has selected just two of the side that started the game at St James' Park.