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Young Dons beat Reading to round off a great day of academy football

Next season's Under-18s produce a promising display to beat the Royals

8 May 2018

AFC Wimbledon's youngsters produced a thrilling fightback to edge out Reading at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Sunday.

At 2-0 down entering the latter stages, the Under-17s (next season's Under-18s) were heading for defeat, but goals in the last seven minutes from David Fisher, KJ Osu and Zachery Robinson earned a 3-2 victory.

The victory against a category one academy rounded off a cracking day of fixtures for our youth section with AFC Wimbledon teams having earlier faced opposition from Brighton and Watford.

David Fisher produced a smart finish to edge Wimbledon back into the match against Reading, before a 20-yard wonder strike from KJ Osu levelled the score at 2-2, and then Zachery Robinson's clinical last-minute strike earned a dramatic victory.

Academy Head of Football Mark Robinson said: "It was a great day of football. We cannot publish results for the younger teams, but they all performed really well against Watford. I don't know how many fans were here, but those present witnessed the excellent work taking place at the academy throughout the age groups. I am fortunate at Under-18 level that I get to work with the players at the end of the process, but I get the benefit of all the hard work and quality work that our coaches do with our younger players.

"Considering the extra pressure players were under from playing at the stadium in front of a healthy crowd and high calibre opposition, there were so many positives to be taken. I was very pleased with the U18s. James Oliver-Pearce and myself got to work with them for the first time as a group on Saturday for an hour and a half. The fact they took on board a lot of information so well shows they are good learners, which is really important. It is a testament to the excellent work our Under-16s coaches Rob Tuvey and Dale Blair have done previously with the players.

"As far as the game wore on, it was hard to believe we were 2-0 down. They had one chance first half and they scored. In the second half, they scored from their first real attack and created very little in terms of clear-cut chances. We were the better team throughout the game and created countless chances. I was chuffed for the boys that they made the dramatic comeback to win the game, which was the minimum they deserved."

On behalf of the academy, Mark Robinson wished to thank David McKnight, his son Conor, and Laurence Lowne for their help on the day.

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