Dan Ano strikes late winner for young Dons
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s extended their unbeaten league run on Saturday by battling back to defeat Barnet on Saturday.
Late goals from Dom Bongo and Dan Ano (pictured) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a 2-1 home win making it 10 league games unbeaten.
minute and Wimbledon were unable to find any attacking fluency for the rest of the first-half.stThe young Dons started well with Jayden Antwi, Judah Chapman and Antonio Walker causing problems for Barnet, but the visitors came into it and Will Mannion was required to make an outstanding save to keep the score level. However, Barnet did take the lead in the 21
Towering centre-back Bongo was introduced at the start of the second-half for Sibbick as the young Dons looked for a way back into it. The early exchanges after half-time provided encouragement that Wimbledon could find a way back into the match, Seanan McKillop playing a big part by gaining control in midfield. In attack, Reece Williams-Bowers, Judah Chapman and Ano were growing in confidence and all three came close to conjuring up an equaliser.
minute with Nick Akoto replacing David Omperon.ndJust after the hour came a key change with skilful winger Nathan Wood introduced for Walker, who had again produced exciting moments. The impact of Wood was instant as he tormented Barnet’s defence down the left. Antwi and Williams-Bowers both forced the Barnet goalkeeper into fine saves, before Wood shot narrowly wide. Mark Robinson made another change in the 72
However, the equaliser finally arrived 15 minutes from time with Bongo once again showing he is well and truly back. Having missed five months of the season through injury, Bongo made it two goals in two games since his return with a great diving header. The young Dons now piled forward in search of a winner and it came nine minutes from time after more great work from Wood. He received the ball wide right, before beating his man and delivering a pinpoint cross that Ano met emphatically to earn a hard-fought win for his side.
Mark Robinson said: “I wasn’t happy with the first-half, despite us looking threatening at times. We did not do enough to take control of the game. We seemed to think that because we are on an impressive run of results, things would look after themselves as long as we put in a half decent shift. I made it clear at half-time that football simply does not work like that. It’s hard enough to win football matches when you are getting most things right and putting in maximum effort, let alone dropping your standards, albeit slightly.
“Our second-half was much better and due to greater intensity and competitiveness, we took control of the game and our quality started to show. We then took control of our own destiny, rather than leaving it to chance. We currently sit top of the league with only two defeats out of 16 games in all competitions, one of those losses coming against Chelsea.
“We have been without seven of the squad for the last two games because they have stepped up to train with the Under-21s. This will remain the same for the rest of this season and hopefully more will join them. The challenge is on now for the rest of our squad and Under-16s to step-up and keep this run going. I know we have the quality, it’s about them having the right mentality consistently.”
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Seanan McKillop.