Under-18s cruise through in FA Youth Cup
AFC Wimbledon’s youngsters turned on the style tonight to march into the second round of the FA Youth Cup.
The young Dons earned an 8-1 victory against North Greenford United with Jayden Antwi and Tino Carpene both striking doubles. Toby Sibbick, Nick Akoto and Great Nii Okai Evans were also on target with an own goal accounting for the other.
Though there was a difference in quality between the two sides with full-time scholars taking on a club at Combined Counties Premier League level, it was a display of clinical finishing on the night from Wimbledon.
The 396 spectators who paid to watch it certainly got value for their £5 entrance fee and it was a game watched by Neal Ardley and his predecessor Terry Brown.
Several of AFC Wimbledon’s starting 11 had yet to play at the Cherry Red Records Stadium before this match, but any pre-match nerves would have been calmed by taking the lead in just the second minute. Nathan Wood, one of the members of last season’s FA Youth Cup run to the last-16, cut inside from the left and sent over a dangerous cross that was spilled by North Greenford goalkeeper Rhys Jones, and Nick Akoto was there to apply the finish.
Buoyed by the early breakthrough, Wimbledon took a firm grip on the game and Antonio Walker threatened to double the advantage, but he shot just wide from an acute angle. With Anthony Hartigan, Reece Williams-Bowers and Nathan Wood getting on the ball, Wimbledon caused plenty of problems for the visitors. However, it was a defensive lapse that created Wimbledon’s next chance with a back pass intercepted by Jayden Antwi, but his shot was well saved by the feet of Jones.
minute to create the second for Wimbledon. Williams-Bowers showed lovely skill to create space down the left, before picking out Wood, and his cross was perfect for Jayden Antwi to steer home from close range. It was a typical poacher’s goal from a player who had scored in Wimbledon’s 4-0 win against Milton Keynes on Saturday and the Dons were full value for a two-goal lead.rdWood and Williams-Bowers had offered a constant threat down the left and they combined in the 33
As we approached half-time, Wimbledon threatened to increase the advantage. With the Dons barely tested at the back, Tom Scott joined in the attack down the left flank and his superb ball picked out Judah Chapman, but his close-range effort was saved by Jones. Toby Sibbick also just failed to force the ball over the line after a well-worked corner routine between Wood and Williams-Bowers.
The second-half started in similar fashion to the way the first-half had ended with Wimbledon in control and it was 3-0 five minutes after the break. Wood, Walker and Williams-Bowers combined from another short corner routine and Sibbick fired home emphatically from close range. It was 4-0 less than two minutes later when Antwi produced a clinical finish from close range. Despite building up a healthy advantage, there was no let-up from Wimbledon and Antwi so nearly sealed his hat-trick with a powerful header, but Jones saved superbly. Williams-Bowers also tried his luck from just outside the area, but Jones made another excellent save.
minute with Great Nii Okai Evans as the instigator. The substitute powered down the left flank and Jones could only parry his shot into the path of Carpene, who made no mistake from close range.thAs Wimbledon poured forward, a fifth goal seemed inevitable and it came in fine style just after the hour. Tino Carpene, who had only entered the fray barely 60 seconds earlier, showed good composure to control a cross from Williams-Bowers, before stroking home confidently via a post. Jones made a brilliant double save to deny Williams-Bowers and Phillip, but a sixth goal arrived in the 76
minute. A lovely run by Josh Lewis-Evans ended with a defence-splitting pass that sent Carl Bower racing through and he produced a calm low finish that left Dons goalkeeper Joseph Bursik with no chance. It didn’t take long for Wimbledon to restore their grip on the game though and it was 7-1 three minutes from the end of normal time when substitute Callum Phillip’s cross was diverted into his own net by Lewis-Evans. The icing on the cake for Wimbledon came in the final minute of normal time when Akoto crossed for Evans to tap home from close range.ndIt seemed like a case of how many for Wimbledon as we entered the final stages, but North Greenford earned a consolation in the 82
Though there was a big difference in class between the two teams, it had been a fine display of finishing on the night from Wimbledon and such a characteristic is sure to serve the young Dons well in the next round of the competition.
AFC Wimbledon: Joseph Bursik, Nathan Wood, Paul Kalambayi, Toby Sibbick, Tom Scott, Nick Akoto, Anthony Hartigan, Judah Chapman, Antonio Walker (Callum Phillip), Reece Williams-Bowers (Great Nii Okai Evans), Jayden Antwi (Tino Carpene).
The picture above shows Reece Williams-Bowers in match action (picture by Stuart Butcher, Pro Sports Images).