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Young Dons aim to complete the job today after letting lead slip against Barnet

Match Report: Under-18s just fall short in pursuit of victory

3 April 2018

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s will today be aiming to go one better than on Saturday after letting Barnet off the hook.

The young Dons had to settle for a 2-2 draw last time out after man of the match Ossama Ashley (pictured) opened the scoring. Mark Robinson's side will be seeking to regain their winning momentum in the Merit League against Cheltenham today (4.00 pm kick-off) after playing well for long spells at Barnet.

Wimbledon marched into the lead when Ethan Nelson Roberts swung in a corner that was brilliantly met by Ossama Ashley, who headed home emphatically at the far post. The Dons continued to dominate for the next 20 minutes with excellent attacking football, but all that was missing was the final finish. Tyler Burey, Bobby Mills, Roberts and Great Evans all had chances go begging. Barnet changed their shape on 25 minutes, which saw a shift in the flow of the game. The Dons were now getting exposed out wide and Barnet fashioned three chances with Josh Strizovic pulling off two good saves and the excellent Reuben Collins making a brilliant headed clearance. With five minutes to go in the first-half, Wimbledon did start to get control back and the lively Burey brought a great save out of Barnet's keeper.

The Dons started the second-half in similar fashion to the first and it was no surprise when Reece Weekes cut in and finished well after more excellent work by Burey. The Dons were now in complete control and chances followed with Roberts, Ashley and Weekes all going close, before Tino Carpene shot inches wide after beating three players. On 82 minutes though Barnet were given a lifeline when Donte Lodge Francis was adjudged to have clipped his opponent. Greg Adinna slotted the ball home comfortably. Two minutes later, the unthinkable happened when one ball took out the Dons defence and Adinna finished brilliantly from a tight angle. Lodge Francis almost conjured up a winner when he shot just wide after turning his man excellently, but it was not to be.

Mark Robinson said: "The lads were very good in the first 20 minutes and we looked a real threat. They then caused us problems when they changed things, but we problem solved towards the end of the half and we continued that into a two-way conversation at half-time. I gave them the option of going to a back four, but they said they wanted to stay with a back three and together we came up with a solution to nullify the success they started to have.

"I am pleased to say it worked well and we looked in good control at 2-0. All I would say was as comfortable as we looked there were some sloppy moments that concerned me. We talk a lot about doing the simple things brilliantly well and that was not always happening. Unfortunately for the boys on this occasion it meant we did not get the win. We did respond well after their equaliser and had chances to win it, but together we need to focus on why we found ourselves in that situation after looking so comfortable at 2-0. There are many ways to see a game out and on this occasion we were more than capable of dominating the ball, while remaining a threat."

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