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Double from Ashley sparks impressive win for young Dons

Under-18s march to victory against Stevenage

6 November 2017

Man of the Match Ossama Ashley led the charge for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s with two cracking goals at Stevenage on Saturday.

Ossama struck twice to help the young Dons to a 3-1 victory, with Tyrique Spencer-Clarke sealing the win near the end.

The Dons started slowly, allowing Stevenage to get into dangerous positions, and the hosts almost marched into the lead with an effort against the underside of the crossbar. As the first-half progressed, Wimbledon started to take more control of possession with Reuben Collins and Dean Perana showing good variety in their pass selection. A well-worked Wimbledon move from the back resulted in the excellent Ethan Nelson-Roberts striking a very good effort that was tipped over by the home keeper. The resulting corner was delivered by Tyler Burey perfectly for Ashley, who rose emphatically to head into the far corner.

With a 1-0 lead, Wimbledon took control, demonstrating impressive build-up play, and the advantage was almost doubled through Tyler Burey, who struck a shot that rattled off of a post. Then Burey's cross just evaded the on-rushing Donte Lodge-Francis and the impressive Ayoub Assal, on his second successive league start. With not long until half-time, another composed passing move from Wimbledon's defensive third resulted in the ball moved across Stevenage's penalty area. Nelson-Roberts showed good awareness to set-up Ashley and he found the top corner with a powerful drive.

In the second-half, Wimbledon started in the same fashion with a clever back-heel inside the penalty area from Lodge-Francis falling to Assal, who couldn't quite get the shot away. A mix-up just inside the Stevenage half allowed the hosts to make a quick breakaway, leaving substitute Archie Proctor exposed, and Liam Smyth tapped home to reduce the arrears.

Wimbledon had to withstand a late Stevenage rally, but victory was sealed in the 93rd minute. A late Stevenage corner in the 93rd minute was well cleared by Procter and Burey made the most of it by producing a fine run, before finding Spencer-Clarke, and he made no mistake.

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s assistant manager James Oliver-Pearce said: "It was a very good team performance. We have beaten all the top-three sides now convincingly, but we will continue to rotate the squad and bring through younger players because development has to be the priority.

"We showed good variety in our play and that was reflected in the different types of goals we scored and chances we created. The boys must be learners and they showed they can be today. They adjusted to the different problems the game was providing and found solutions. They also showed grit and determination towards the end to make sure they saw out the game."

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