David Fisher struck his fourth goal in two games to earn a point for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s against Swindon Town.
In a contest between the only two unbeaten sides in the Merit League, it was honours even with a 1-1 draw, the young Dons battling back for a share of the spoils.
The game started at a frantic pace and Wimbledon had to match up to a big Swindon side, which resulted in a very physical encounter early on. The first meaningful chance fell to Ayoub Assal, but his shot was well saved, and then the same player just failed to connect with the ball from six yards out after Zach Robinson had flicked on Paul Osew’s throw-in. Despite starting well, Wimbledon fell behind after a long throw-in was flicked on and Jacob Bancroft headed home expertly. Then Swindon threatened to double the advantage and it needed a stunning save from Bert White to deny them.
After coming through that sticky spell, Wimbledon equalised before the break through Fisher, who slotted home clinically after Robinson’s shot was saved. The second-half continued with both teams playing at a high tempo and Wimbledon just avoided conceding a second when White tipped onto the underside of the crossbar and the ball was just scrambled clear. At the other end, Assal attempted an impressive overhead kick that flashed inches wide after a brilliant team move and Robinson shot into the side netting after creating the chance himself. Though Reece Weekes twice came close and Robinson had a shot superbly saved by the Swindon keeper, a winner proved to be elusive for Wimbledon. It meant the young Dons remain unbeaten, but missed an opportunity to go top of the table.
Following the match, manager Mark Robinson said: “Last week we won and we were not happy with the performance. In this game we had to share the points, but there were so many positives. Swindon are a very good side and offered a real physical challenge. We had a young side out and for the majority of the match we dealt with the physical challenge brilliantly. We switched off for their goal and there were a few similar moments that we survived, but overall the players showed the game understanding we are looking for. They showed they are getting to a stage where they are problem solving with less direction from the coaching team. We also tried to play a lot more football on a difficult surface and some of our moves were excellent.
“Our lads will feel like it's two points dropped as we created a lot of clear-cut opportunities. However, I am sure their lads will feel similar as Bert pulled off a few great saves. To be honest, both keepers were winners on the day and you could not argue with both of them being Man of the Match for their respective teams.”
Click on the link below to watch the match highlights from the game and an interview with Dons defender Archie Procter.