AFC Wimbledon's development squad earned a hard-fought victory against Merstham's first-team last night, thanks to a header from Bobby Mills.
With several first-teamers featuring in the Central League fixture against Southend at the stadium yesterday, a friendly at Merstham was arranged for Alan Reeves's squad and the Dons won it 1-0. The only goal came on the half hour when Paul Osew sent over a cross that was well headed home by Mills, who was one of a crop of Under-18s to feature on the night.
It was a significant match for two young Dons prospects making their way back from long-term injuries. Osaze Urhoghide, who has missed six months due to a serious knee injury, got 45 minutes under his belt and Kane Crichlow also made his comeback after breaking his ankle in pre-season.
Coach Alan Reeves was pleased with the application shown by the players in the second-half at the Specsavers Stadium.
"The manager wanted some of the first-team squad players to get minutes and that would have left the boys short of game-time so we decided to arrange the friendly at Merstham," said Alan. "We had a young squad, but they acquitted themselves well. We were good defensively. I gave the team a game-plan, but in the first-half a couple of the lads did not play to it and we had to sort that out at half-time.
"In the second-half we adhered to the game-plan more: we let them have the ball in their own half, pressed them high, and broke well when we won the ball. We got a lot of chances playing like that in the second-half, but we did not manage to take them."
AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Kyron Stabana, Paul Kalambayi, Osaze Urhoghide (Reuben Collins), Tom Scott, Finlay Macnab, Kosta Sparta, Kane Crichlow (Ayoub Assal), Bobby Mills, Tommy Wood, Paul Osew.