By Chris Slavin
Will Nightingale stepped up his recuperation after injury by playing for a young AFC Wimbledon team in the London Senior Cup against Balham.
In a match played at the Wibbandune Sports Ground, Wimbledon suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Combined Counties Premier League side Balham.
Despite the result, it was an important step towards first-team action for Will Nightingale after a spell out with a hamstring injury.
"Though it was not ideal for Will as the pitch was not the best, he came through 90 minutes," said Alan Reeves. "Will does what he normally does, he rolls his sleeves up and gets stuck in. He has been back in training for a week now so it was good for him to play for 90 minutes."
Alan added that he was disappointed with the outcome, as a young Dons squad exited the competition at the second round stage.
"It was a difficult game for our young lads taking on a men's team," said Alan. "I told them beforehand what they were going to face with a bit of hustle and bustle and that's what happened. Overall, Balham deserved to win the match. It was disappointing because you don't want to lose any game of football.
"We entered the competition for a reason and that was for the young lads to show character against more experienced players. We had a lot of young lads out there and Archie Proctor was one of the positives. He usually plays at left centre-half, but when we played against MK he came on at left-back. With Seth Owens and Tom Scott out injured, we played Archie at left-back again and he did well."
AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Jamil Awoyejo, Reuben Collins, Will Nightingale, Archie Proctor, Tyler Burey, Dean Perana, Osaze Urhoghide, Donte Lodge-Francis (Bobby Mills), Great Nii Okai-Evans, Richard Pingling.