Man of the Match Osaze Urhoghide’s goal turned out to be of consolation value only in a defeat for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s on Saturday.
On a tough afternoon at Cambridge United, the young Dons suffered a 3-1 loss with Urhoghide (pictured) netting late on for Wimbledon.
Ossama Ashley gave away a penalty after six minutes, which was tucked away well by Lee Watkins, leaving young Dons keeper Albert White with no chance. Things got worse for the Dons in the 14th minute when Prince Mutswunguma was allowed too much space and he took full advantage to make it 2-0. In a first-half that included chances for Cambridge to make it three, Wimbledon’s best opportunity fell for Tyler Burey, who failed to make it count after a good run down the right.
The Dons started well after half-time, but any hopes of forcing a way back into it effectively disappeared when Sam Bennett was gifted a tap-in. Wimbledon continued to perform better with Dylan Hersey effective down the right and Urgohide doing excellent in midfield. Great Nii Okai Evans, Bobby Mills, Hersey, Burey and Urgohide all subsequently had good efforts. On 73 minutes Tristan Abideen-Goodridge earned a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area that led to Wimbledon’s consolation. Evans’ powerful free kick was followed up by Urgohide, who fired home. The Dons continued to look threatening, but Cambridge also held a threat going forward.
Mark Robinson said: “Until the boys can hold onto information and take it into games they are going to continue to struggle. We are trying every method to help them. In some cases, I cannot deny it's quite a task to make a young man take responsibility and make positive decisions in a very competitive football match when it’s been unnatural for them to step-out of their comfort zone in the past. I realise that sounds harsh, but that is the reality with some of the lads.
“Unfortunately, some of the lads who are mentally stronger are becoming frustrated by the lack of hunger from team mates and not performing to their ability. I cannot deny it's very challenging for my staff and myself, but I still remain confident everyone will come through it better players, people and educators. It will not get any easier as we have six fairly long-term injuries, but one of the positives was that we had two U-16s on for the duration of the game and two U-15s got good game time as well.”