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Young Dons open with victory, but Mark far from happy

Goals from Great Nii Okai Evans and Tino Carpene seal victory

20 February 2018

Tino Carpene kept up his rich vein of goal scoring form for the young Dons, but Coach Mark Robinson was left disappointed after victory over Leyton Orient.

Goals in each half from Great Nii Okai Evans (pictured) and a seventh in four games for strike partner Carpene wrapped up a 2-1 victory, in Wimbledon’s opening Youth Alliance – Merit League game at Tooting and Mitcham.

Afterwards, Mark said: “The boys will be happy with getting off to a winning start and rightly so, but I got very little satisfaction from the game in terms of development.

“Leyton Orient offered us different problems to what we face in a lot of academy games for the first 25 minutes and although they were very good, we were tactically, technically and socially poor. We did get to grips with things as the game went on and there were some moments of quality, but nowhere near enough.

“I had to say far too much from the sidelines to make sure the boys were getting some of the basics right. We are continually encouraging them to come out of their comfort zone in training and life in general by putting them in different situations where they need to think for themselves.

“This is key for their development as, like on this occasion, they need to be able to react and solve different challenges.  We really want them to embrace this side of the game over the coming months.”   

The young Dons struggled early on with Orient's direct approach and it was the visitors who picked up the majority of second balls, playing some good football in the Dons half.

The O's hit the outside of the post on eight minutes and, although Great Evans had an attempt well saved for the Dons, it was no surprise when Orient took the lead after 12 minutes, finishing off an excellent move of quick combination play.

The Dons did start to get more of a foothold in the game, but Orient still carried a threat going forward. On 32 minutes, Dons centre back Rueben Collins took it upon himself to get Wimbledon back into the game. Driving through the O's midfield, he combined passes with Jack Rudoni before delivering an excellent cross that was finished brilliantly by Evans on the volley from 10 yards.

The Dons finished the half strongly with man-of-the-match Carpene having a good shot saved. Wimbledon enjoyed better possession in the second half, with young Dylan Hersey looking a threat on the right hand side. On 58 minutes it was Hersey who did well to find the excellent Carpene, who smashed home a great strike into the top corner from 20 yards out.

The Dons now had more control of the game and goalkeeper Tom Miles made a good save on the angle on 68 minutes. However, despite further efforts from  Evans, Tyler Burey and Bobby Mills, they were unable to further extend Wimbledon's lead before the final whistle.

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