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Dons denied top spot

27 March 2017

Mark Robinson's side maintain their unbeaten run

A headed goal from Tino Carpene in time added on maintained AFC Wimbledon under-18s impressive unbeatable league form, but they were denied top spot in the table.


Goalkeeper Dion Curtis-Henry stopped the young Dons taking over from hosts Peterborough United as leaders of the Merit League with an excellent goalkeeping display in a 1-1 draw. Their unbeaten run in the Youth Alliance though now stretches back to November 12 of last year.


"For 60 minutes we were outstanding," said coach Mark Robinson afterwards. "We have been doing well, but we wanted to dominate the ball more so we tried a new formation. Considering we only worked on it for a day the lads worked it brilliantly."


"We must have had at least 70 per-cent possession, but more importantly we were effective and created a host of chances," added Mark.


"Unfortunately our finishing was the only side of our game that was not up to scratch. That - added to the performance of their keeper - was the only reason we did not walk away with three points and a very satisfying performance."


The Dons took ten minutes to find their flow playing a new formation, but once they got going they completely dominated their hosts. Chances were created for Great Evans, Tino Carpene, man-of-the-match Reece Williams-Bowers, Nathan Wood and Antonio Walker as the Dons continually carved open Posh with some superb passing and movement on a difficult surface.


The only thing that was lacking was a final finish, but when the Dons did get strikes on goal they found towering, experienced keeper Dion Curtis-Henry in great form.


On 38 minutes though, the unimaginable happened when Posh were awarded a free-kick and the Dons did not get into shape quick enough and Posh moved the ball well out wide before Josh Davison finished smartly from 10 yards. The Dons reacted immediately and further chances were created for Bowers, Evans, whilst Carpene hit the post before the break.


The Dons continued in the same vein after the break and a stunning 19 pass move in the 48th minute saw Walker hit the side netting after great link up play with Bowers. The Dons continued to dominate possession with Hartigan and Ossama Ashley dominating midfield, Carpene and Bowers rotating brilliantly as two number 10s, whilst Wood and Walker supplied the width.


The chances continued to come and Hartigan rattled the upright from a 20 yard free kick on the 60th minute. Still finding themselves behind the Dons began to get a little frustrated and at last Peterborough came into the game  and won a few corners.


On 70 minutes Tyler Burey replaced the excellent Walker, Callum Phillip replaced Evans, who had led the line brilliantly. The Dons gradually took control of the game again and created further chances for Carpene, Bowers and Burey, but Curtis-Henry was in stunning form in goal.


Wimbledon won a free-kick in the 88th minute and the excellent Tom Scott whipped in a great ball that took a slight touch off Carpene. The ball seemed destined for the bottom corner, but somehow Curtis-Henry got down low and clawed it away.


The young Dons were not to be denied though. With 92 minutes on the clock, they won another free kick and another brilliant ball by Scott was met by a superb  glancing header from Carpene (pic) that sent the ball into the top corner.


The Dons then had to survive a scare less than a minute later, when a scramble from a free-kick saw goalkeeper Edward Ogbebor-Onaiwu make a great save low down for the Dons.


In six minutes of added time there was still time for Burey and Philip to get shots away after more excellent football, but Curtis-Henry was again in fine form and the man between the posts for Peterborough ended up being the difference between the Dons getting a point and walking away with an emphatic win.

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