AFC Wimbledon’s Under-23 development squad earned a highly creditable draw by battling back for a share of the spoils at AFC Bournemouth today.
Taking on a Bournemouth side that included first-team Premier League squad members Tyrone Mings, Charlie Daniels, and Marc Pugh, the Dons earned a 1-1 draw with a late goal from Zachary Robinson. The equaliser came 10 minutes from time when Archie Proctor (pictured) sent through a long ball that Mings, under pressure from Tommy Wood, was unable to clear, and substitute Robinson headed home clinically.
Dons Under-23 coach Alan Reeves said: “Zach gambled by getting into the box and he earned his reward. We’ve played three games now against teams that have included more experienced players and I’ve been pleased with the boys in each of the matches. You are not going to get loads of chances against these teams, but we’ve been defensively solid in every one of the games.
“We limited the chances that they created today and we probably deserved a point. I had a chat with the players at half-time to try and sort out a few things. We hadn’t kept the ball enough after working our socks off to get it back. Sometimes against a better team on paper you have to let them have the ball at certain times. You have to be patient, stay in the holes and be compact in your shape. Then you can try to get some progression on the break. That’s what we did and it was a good defensive display.”
Marc Pugh opened the scoring for Bournemouth on the hour mark, but Wimbledon stayed in the game and Robinson, who had only entered the fray five minutes earlier, scored the equaliser in the 80th minute.
The late goal earned a point for Wimbledon in the first group match of this season's Central League Cup.
AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Kyron Stabana, Paul Kalambayi, Archie Proctor, Tom Scott, trialist (Zach Robinson), Alfie Egan, Kosta Sparta, Ossama Ashley (Jack Rudoni), Tyler Burey, Tommy Wood.