By Chris Slavin
An impressive individual goal from Egli Kaja provided the highlight for AFC Wimbledon’s development squad in a defeat at Peterborough United today.
A young Dons side were beaten 4-2 against a more experienced Peterborough team in a behind closed doors friendly match played at the Mick George Training Ground.
Wimbledon paid the price for switching off from a free-kick early on when Sam Cartwright got on the end of a corner to power home. It was 2-0 when Junior Morias – one of a clutch of young Peterborough players with first-team experience – produced a clinical close-range finish.
Following those setbacks, a swift response followed from Wimbledon with Kaja (pictured) leading the charge. The attacking midfielder cut inside from the right wing and beat two or three challenges, before giving it the finish it deserved to get one back. Kaja then turned provider by sending over a free-kick that was well headed home by Alfie Egan.
Posh re-took the lead on the hour mark and it was a fine individual effort from Danny Lloyd, who picked the ball up from deep and placed a ferocious left-foot shot past Joe McDonnell. Substitute Andrea Borg wrapped up with the win with a composed finish after good work from another fellow substitute Josh Davison.
Despite the defeat, Alan Reeves was pleased with the application shown by his young squad on the day.
“We did not start the game very well and we conceded from a set-piece, which is always disappointing,” said Alan. “All goals are preventable when you strip it back, but they are young lads. I told them afterwards to be disappointed by the result, but not by the performance. They should not be disheartened as we matched them, apart from the first 20 minutes. Peterborough had about five or six lads with first-team experience and a lot of our team are only used to playing Under-18s football against younger players. I was really pleased with their work-rate and endeavour. They were playing against players with first-team experience, so it was a good test for our boys.”
AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Toby Sibbick, Paul Kalambayi (Reuben Collins), Osaze Urhoghide, Ethan Nelson-Roberts, Egli Kaja, Ossama Ashley, Alfie Egan, Levi Shango (Great Nii-Okai Evans), Richard Pingling, Tino Carpene.