Nathan Trott took an important step in the right direction by completing 90 minutes for an AFC Wimbledon development squad at AFC Bournemouth today.
The on-loan West Ham keeper, who had missed the start of the season due to a groin injury, featured in a Wimbledon side consisting of first-teamers and Under-18s. The match was played at Bournemouth’s Canford Park Arena and it ended in a 2-2 draw with Jack Rudoni and Adam Roscrow on target for the Dons.
Defender Jack Madelin impressed in Mark Robinson's first game in charge as Senior Professional Development Phase Coach. The first team coaching staff, including Vaughan Ryan and Ashley Bayes, also travelled to the match, which featured midfielder Shane McLoughlin in the starting line-up.
Wimbledon tried to impose their game inside the opening ten minutes with KJ Osu putting in an excellent early challenge. Bournemouth started to force the young Wimbledon defence back though and Trott needed to stay alert.
With Trott's kicking improving, Wimbledon pushed out again through skipper Jack Rudoni in midfield. There was a great opportunity to take the lead with a through ball for Macnab, but both he and Roscrow failed to capitalise on it.
Just after the half hour mark, Wimbledon marched in front when Rudoni received the ball inside the area and finished well. Shortly afterwards, Kyron Stabana fired just over. Tommy Wood used his physical presence to good effect, aiming to set Roscrow away, but Bournemouth were just able to deal with it. At the other end, Madelin dived in well to win a challenge in midfield just before the break.
Madelin picked up where he had left off in the first-half by making another excellent early challenge. Five minutes after the resumption Wimbledon doubled their lead. Trott pulled off a great save, shortly before Roscrow raced away at the other end to beat Bournemouth keeper Will Dennis and double the Dons lead.
As the game opened up more, Trott was called into action again and Madelin stood out with further ball-winning challenges. Just when Wimbledon appeared to be in control of the game, Bournemouth gained a lifeline. Trott made another good save initially, but he conceded following a goal mouth scramble. Two minutes later, Bournemouth levelled the score at 2-2. Though Madelin continued to shine, Wimbledon became sloppy in their play. With just over ten minutes left, Mark Robinson gave opportunities to Richie Mbele and Jamil Awoyejo.
With Wimbledon put under further pressure towards the end, it proved to be a useful exercise for Trott to shake off any rustiness after injury and show our first-team management that he could be ready for action soon.
AFC Wimbledon: Trott, Stabana, Osu, Collins, Madelin, Biler, Macnab, Rudoni, McLoughlin, Roscrow, Wood. Subs: Awoyejo, Mbele, trialist for Stabana, Macnab and Roscrow.