Under-18s manager Mark Robinson believes his squad will have learned plenty from Saturday's defeat at Cambridge and he is confident that they are heading in the right direction.
The young Dons were beaten 1-0 against Cambridge in the first weekend of fixtures in the EFL Youth Alliance South East, and they will be aiming to get off the mark against Peterborough next time out.
But Mark Robinson was encouraged by the performance of his players in defeat.
"When you play Cambridge, you always know you are going to get a game more realistic to what the boys will hopefully face in the English Football League," said Mark. "Their boys have a fantastic approach to the game and they always have talent. I was pleased with how we stood up to the challenge. We certainly gave as good as we got physically. Despite their pressure in the first-half, we were confident enough to try and play progressive football, whilst recognising when there was space in behind. The second-half got a little scrappy and we become too predictable before and after their goal, but that is understandable due to the kind of game it was. Despite the defeat, I feel the lads are in a good place. If they continue with their current discipline and approach to learning, they will not only win plenty of games, but will play an exciting style of football. They will enjoy it and that will be great for their individual development."
A goal from Ben Worman, who last season became the youngest ever player to appear for Cambridge's first-team at the age of 16, struck the only goal of the game in the 78th minute. Wimbledon threatened to take the lead in the first-half when Zach Robinson came close, but it was 0-0 at the break. Though Cambridge created the clear-cut chances after half-time, Wimbledon continued to carry an attacking threat, but the young Dons were caught on the break 12 minutes from time. A fine Cambridge move ended with a cross that Wimbledon failed to deal with and Worman curled in off the crossbar with the officials judging that the ball had just crossed the line.
A spirited response followed from Wimbledon and David Fisher almost earned the equaliser with a fine strike that rattled the crossbar, before a flurry of set-pieces went to waste, and the clock ended up against the young Dons. Archie Proctor (pictured) was Man of the Match for Wimbledon.
Highlights of the game can be viewed below by clicking on the link to our official You Tube channel.