Improved second-half display from young Dons
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s hit back to secure a draw at Yeovil with an equaliser from Ethan Nelson-Roberts, but manager Mark Robinson said that it was two points dropped.
Unbeaten so far in the Football League Youth Alliance Merit League, the young Dons had an early start for an 11.30 am kick-off in Somerset as they sought to maintain an impressive run.
However, it needed a second-half improvement and the intervention of Nelson-Roberts (pictured) to secure a 1-1 draw.
On a very sticky surface and with a strong wind influencing matters, the Dons struggled to find their passing rhythm. With Yeovil sitting deep denying any space in behind, Wimbledon continually gave away possession in the early stages and it allowed Yeovil to counter-attack.
minute. With Wimbledon not aggressive enough in their challenges from the set-piece, a close-range finish made it 1-0 to Yeovil.thIn a game when Wimbledon failed to make the most of their possession, Yeovil punished the visitors by making the most of a corner in the 27
Though Callum Phillip, Nelson-Roberts and Great Nii Okai-Evans all came close to an equaliser in response, it was a below-par first-half display from Wimbledon. In a similar pattern to the first-half, Wimbledon dominated possession after the restart, but failed to create the chances to reflect it. Ten minutes into the second-half, Mark Robinson introduced Reece Williams-Bowers, Tino Carpene and trialist Ossama Ashley with all three making a difference.
Evans had two opportunities to equalise, before Carpene shot narrowly wide and the excellent Nelson-Roberts had a shot blocked. With Nick Akoto and Williams-Bowers also coming close, chances not taken were mounting up. However, that all changed in the last 10 minutes when the impressive Sean Bird crossed deep for Williams-Bowers and his header back dropped nicely for Nelson-Roberts, who drove home from 17 yards.
Mark Robinson said: "In the first-half it was the worst we had played for months. Yeovil sat in, happy for us to have the ball, but we made poor decisions and did not adapt at all well to their tactics. To concede in the way that we did after eight clean sheets was really disappointing as we showed no hunger, either physically or mentally, to keep the ball out of the net.
“The second half was literally attack versus defence and we opened them up a lot more and created chances. Reece Williams-Bowers with his intelligent movement and Ethan Nelson-Roberts drove us on from midfield and trialist Ossama Ashley provided us with a good pivot to keep switching play. It was obviously a very early departure for the boys, but we pride ourselves on our mentality and self- preparation so I cannot accept that as an excuse for our poor first-half performance. It was definitely two points dropped not one gained."
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Ethan Nelson-Roberts.