Report: Dons pay the price for missed chances
AFC Wimbledon’s development squad today just came up short in their bid to end a highly successful season with a victory.
Despite dominating possession and chances, the Central League South West and South East title winners suffered a 3-1 defeat against Peterborough after George Oakley (pictured) had put the Dons in front.
The Dons needed goalkeeper Nik Tzanev to make a fine double save to keep Posh at bay early on, but Alan Reeves’ side marched into the lead after 18 minutes.
It was a fine move too as Egli Kaja supplied Reece Williams-Bowers and his ball to Oakley was put away with power, high into the net by the towering striker for the opening goal.
Having scored 20 goals in total this season, including his spells out on loan, it’s been another prolific campaign for Oakley, who is estimated to have scored over 300 goals for AFC Wimbledon since joining as an Under-12.
There was no let-up from Wimbledon after taking the lead. Tom Scott floated an effort just over the crossbar a couple of minutes later, before Kaja put an effort just wide of the upright after an excellent run. Kaja continued to be a menace to the Posh defence with his runs at goal.
With half-time approaching, the Dons were dominant and pushed Peterborough back as they moved the ball around well. However, the visitors drew level in the game played at Merstham FC with a Peterborough trialist striking home after he was allowed space in the box.
Reece Williams-Bowers produced a flying save from the Peterborough keeper, seven minutes after the restart, but the Dons were hit by a sucker punch when Andrea Borg pinged in off a post for Peterborough.
Approaching the midway point of the second-half, Jayden Antwi replaced Oakley. Williams-Bowers showed the bullish characteristics that are a key part of his game as the Dons went in search of an equaliser. Tino Carpene replaced Kaja as the push for a second Dons goal intensified.
Antwi had a chance, but his effort was cleared off the line, the striker perhaps guilty of not passing to a team-mate in a better position. And Wimbledon were made to pay for missed opportunities when Junior Morias netted after a quick break out.
The Dons continued to make changes with Ethan Nelson-Roberts replacing Bellikli in midfield and Dean Perana getting a late chance, coming on for Owens, who had headed against the crossbar before departing.
Tom Scott continued to drive Wimbledon on from the back with vocal encouragement as Alan Reeves' side upped their energy levels late on, but it rather unjustly ended in defeat for the regional champions.
Hartigan, Gallagher (c), Bellikli (Nelson-Roberts), Oakley (Antwi), Williams-Bowers.AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Urhoghide, Kalambayi, Owens (Perana), Scott, Kaja (Carpene),