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Young Dons push Oxford all the way

Alan Reeves pleased with display after friendly defeat

15 August 2017

By Chris Slavin

Alan Reeves said he was very encouraged by his side's overall performance today after our development team were narrowly beaten at Oxford United.

A goal from substitute Dean Perana came too late to salvage a share of the spoils, the Dons beaten 2-1 in a friendly match this afternoon, but Alan felt his side deserved more from it.

"We played very well, in the second half especially," said Alan. "We had loads of chances and I said to the boys afterwards, 'how did we lose that game?'. We just didn't take our chances and we made mistakes at the other end. It's about which team puts the ball in the back of the net, and unfortunately, it was them today.

"Most of Oxford's squad were first-team squad players, so it was a good game for our young players. I was really pleased with the team and it's a good learning curve for them. They ran their socks off and we had the best chances in the game. We had a lot of opportunities in the second-half, but we couldn't finish them off. Egli (Kaja) was on fire in the second-half, every time he got the ball he managed to beat the full-back and get crosses in. Neset (Bellikli) had a few really good moments too."

Bellikli (pictured) linked-up well with Jayden Antwi in the second-half and the latter just shot wide when it was still 0-0. Bellikli also fired just off target after a lovely run. Against the run of play, Oxford struck through goals through Xemi Fernandez and James Roberts, before Perana slotted home clinically after a fine ball over the top from Tom Scott.

Oxford coach Derek Fazackerley said: "It was a good opportunity for some of the senior players to stay sharp. The attitude was spot on, as was the focus. I thought the quality of our play was excellent at times and everyone involved will have got something out of the game."

AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Sibbick, Kalambayi, Owens, Scott, Urhoghide (Perana), Egan, Bellikli, Nelson-Roberts (Evans), Antwi (Collins), Kaja.

Oxford United: Shearer, Tiendalli (Baptiste), Carroll, Martin, Bryan, Hall (Roberts), Xemi, Trialist, Rothwell (Napa), Van Kessel (Obika), Hemmings.

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