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Young Dons defeat Southend

8 March 2017

Oakley claims a goal and an assist

Alan Reeves praised a much improved display from our development squad after an impressive victory against Southend in the Central League.

Goals from Egli Kaja and George Oakley (pictured) earned a 2-0 win at Merstham against a Southend squad containing seven with League One experience this season.

Coach Alan Reeves said: “I wanted a reaction from the boys after the Fulham game and I couldn’t have asked for more on the day. Southend had quite a strong side out because Phil Brown was not happy with the performance of their first-team on Saturday. We had faced this type of situation before and I told the boys beforehand that they must not sit off Southend and let them play. I said that if we got in their faces, they may look around and not want to be there. Sometimes that happens with first-teamers playing at Under-21 level.

“Our players worked really hard and got their rewards. All I can ask for is everything they have got. For their own sake and the team, I tell them not to have any regrets about their performances. They should not come off the pitch thinking they could have done better.”

Wimbledon created chances in the first-half, without taking them, but it needed Joe McDonnell to make a save to stop Zavon Hines from opening the scoring. The Dons continued to press after half-time and the pressure paid off 15 minutes from time. A ball down the left from Seth Owens picked out Oakley, who beat his marker, before striking a shot that bounced off the woodwork and Kaja showed good composure to finish clinically.

There was no sign of Wimbledon sitting on the lead and less than three minutes later it was 2-0. Oakley showed all of his strength to work a shooting opportunity and when he was sent sprawling in the box, the referee awarded a penalty. Though Oakley’s subsequent effort from 12 yards was saved, he was first onto the rebound to make it two and there was no way back for Southend.

AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Renee-Pringle, Sibbick, Kalambayi, Owens, Bellikli (Wood), Egan (Chapman), Gallagher, Kaja, Oakley, Olusanya (Antwi).

Southend United: Bishop, White, Inniss, Matsuzaka (Salami), Coutts, Hines (Bedford), Amos, O’Neill, Bridge (Phillips), Mooney, Nouble.

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