Young Dons push Southend United all the way
George Oakley continued his prolific form with a double as AFC Wimbledon’s development side were edged out in an eight-goal thriller at Southend.
Coach Alan Reeves was pleased with the effort and commitment shown by his particularly youthful side during a 5-3 loss in the Central League this afternoon.
A double blast from Oakley and a goal from Egli Kaja had the Dons well in the hunt at 4-3 down heading into the latter stages, but Southend sealed it right at the death.
“We scored three excellent goals,” said Alan Reeves. “George got us back to 4-3 and then Jayden Antwi got brought down in the box, but the referee didn’t give it. They scored another when we were chasing the game at the end.
“There were some really good performances out there from our team. We had three 16-year-olds and four 17-year-olds playing and they put a right proper shift in. Southend were a little bit stronger than us, but it was a pretty even game.
“We were disappointed to lose and the boys were cheesed off at the end, but you don’t get what you deserve sometimes and football can kick you where it hurts. We will move on to the next game. We made a couple of bad mistakes and will try to remedy those with work on the training pitch.”
Southend led 3-1 at the break with Oakley’s clinical finish from a Toby Sibbick pass having kept Wimbledon in with a shout. And the Dons reduced the deficit two minutes after half-time with a fine strike from Kaja. However, Adam King put Southend two goals up again, before Oakley finished superbly to make it 4-3. Norman Wabo made it 5-3 with a minute left for Southend, who had a Joe Bedford double to thank for putting them in charge at half-time.
AFC Wimbledon: Joe Bursik, Osaze Urhoghide, Toby Sibbick, Paul Kalambayi, Tom Scott, Dan Gallagher, Anthony Hartigan (Jayden Antwi), Egli Kaja (Antonio Walker), Judah Chapman, Reece Williams-Bowers (Nathan Wood), George Oakley.