AFC Wimbledon’s Under-18s were just edged out at Northampton Town on Saturday, but the young Dons have a quick chance to make amends today.
Following that 1-0 defeat, Wimbledon’s young talents were due to be back in action at home to Stevenage today (12 noon kick-off at our training ground).
After a long pre-season for the U18s and a trip out to Seville, it was the first game of the season on Saturday and it was a tough one to start with against last season’s South East Youth Alliance winners. Wimbledon needed a superb reaction save from Albert White to stay on level teams early on, but at the other end David Fisher’s smart chip over the keeper found the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Ayoub Assal also struck the crossbar at the end of a well-worked move.
The second-half really opened up and Wimbledon had chances to make the breakthrough. Fisher (pictured) appeared to have a decent shout for a penalty, but the referee thought otherwise and then came Wimbledon’s best opportunity of the game. Dylan Adjei-Hersey produced lovely play on the left to set-up Zach Robinson and he was denied by a fantastic save from the Northampton keeper. That turned out to be a turning point as Northampton snatched victory with 10 minutes left. Though White kept out a Northampton shot at goal, his subsequent throw out was lost by a Wimbledon player and a blocked clearance rebounded over the Dons keeper for a fortuitous winner.
Under-18s manager Rob Tuvey said: “Obviously we are disappointed to lose the first game, but it will not define our season. There were certainly plenty of positives within our overall play against a very well organised Northampton side and I felt we had chances to go on and win the game. However, the last 10 minutes showed how important the behaviours are that we had spoken about in pre-season.
“We became frustrated and stopped doing what had got us in a position to be on top in the game and those behaviours were the reason we were unable to get back into this one. It’s a process that they must be following through every day in both training and matches.”