Young Dons march to another victory
A double from Callum Phillip ensured that AFC Wimbledon Under-18s continued the winning momentum after their excellent FA Youth Cup victory against Hull City.
Phillip (pictured) struck a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win at home to Barnet on Saturday in a game moved to the 3G pitch at Tooting & Mitcham FC due to the weather.
With only five players starting from Tuesday night’s win, the Dons got straight into their rhythm, passing the ball well and dominating possession. Though lots of promising moments followed, there was a lack of cutting edge early on. Great Nii Okai-Evans, Phillip and Tino Carpene all had good efforts, but to no avail. However, the breakthrough came half an hour in when Evans flicked on smartly for Phillip, who beat the Barnet keeper with a clinical finish.
minute. Following a good move, an effort from the visitors came back off the post with Dons goalkeeper Joe Bursik showing his quality by making himself big to narrow the angle.ndIt was a tougher test in the second-half as Barnet put Wimbledon on the back foot and they so nearly earned an equaliser in the 52
Despite being second best after the break, Phillip made it two when he pounced on a weak back-pass after good pressing, before applying the finish calmly.
Paul Kalambayi and Jayden Antwi both struck the woodwork as Wimbledon ended the match strongly, but two was enough for victory.
Manager Mark Robinson said: “It was important that this game did not become a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. We played some good football in the first-half and the lads are feeling confident, which is great. However, I felt we were a little bit over-indulgent with some of our first-half play and I had to remind them that football is about being effective. We did not create enough chances, despite our domination.
“Barnet started the second half very well and we got our second goal at a good time because it could have gone either way. Despite them always carrying a threat, we created a lot of chances. The biggest positive is that we only started five of the lads who started the game on Tuesday and we had eight first years on the pitch, which bodes well for next season.
“We now have Luton on Wednesday so with the first-team and U-21s playing on Tuesday our resources in terms of players will be stretched to the maximum. I will not be at the game as I am going to watch Everton play Preston. I love situations like this though because if we can go to a top academy like Luton and earn a result it will show we are growing in terms of our depth of talent and also the mentality required.”
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Sean Bird.