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Reuben’s strike comes too late to save young Dons

Report: Under-18s beaten at Yeovil

14 September 2017

A second-half rally from AFC Wimbledon's youngsters failed to prevent defeat at Yeovil in the English Football League Youth Alliance Cup.

Reuben Collins (pictured) struck his second goal in successive games to lead a second-half fightback, but the Under-18s eventually slipped to a 3-1 defeat.

Following hot on the heels of a much-improved display against Southend, the young Dons were aiming to continue the momentum, but they fell behind in the 29th minute. A wide free-kick was played short and Jeremiah Gyebi exploited slack defending to convert the cross at the far post.

The hosts doubled their lead eight minutes later after a lapse in concentration allowed Yeovil to thread a pass through the midfield line with Neville Nzembela finding space to charge forward and he was brought down in the box by Osaze Urhoghide. Samyan Ismail stepped up to send Edward Ogbebor-Onaiwu the wrong way for a 2-0 half-time for Yeovil.

The second-half saw a much more spirited performance from Wimbledon, the visitors engaging higher up the pitch to build momentum, consistently picking up the first and second balls. This led to Wimbledon spending more time around the final third and winning several free-kicks, but the end product was lacking. However, with five minutes to go Tyler Burey made an exciting run to the by-line, before being fouled. Burey stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and Reuben Collins got in front of his marker to finish from close range.

With the game now in the balance and Wimbledon pushing to get an equaliser, a lapse in defensive concentration resulted in a crucial third for Yeovil. A long kick from Yeovil keeper Tommy Scott landed in midfield, before a defence-splitting pass in between Collins and Urhoghide allowed Nestor Shako and he converted to seal victory.

Assistant Manager James Oliver-Pearce said: "The first half was a very disappointing performance with us not demonstrating the intensity and game understanding that we did on Saturday. Despite the improved second-half, we had given ourselves a mountain to climb. It is important that all our players absorb information, otherwise we will have to continue repeating what we have worked on."

Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Jamil Awoyejo.

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