AFC Wimbledon Under-18s produced an impressive first-half display against Real Betis, before being pegged back by the hosts in Seville.
Wimbledon had to settle for a 1-1 draw after failing to add to Zachery Robinson’s header, but the performance against young talents from the La Liga club was certainly worthy of praise.
Played in a heat of 35 Celsius, the young Dons put Betis in the shade early on with Robinson, Ayoub Assal, and David Fisher all just missing out on the opener, before Luke Jenkins had his header ruled out. However, Wimbledon did take the lead in the 25th minute when a brilliant flowing move involving KJ Osu, Jack Madelin, Huseyin Biler, and Assal ended with Robinson finishing smartly.
Betis equalised 10 minutes into the second-half with Wimbledon unable to recapture the attacking flow that was such a feature before the break. However, Robinson had a goal ruled out for a very tight offside decision, and he also had another couple of fine efforts well saved. Madelin was also denied with a close-range header as the match ended with honours even.
Under-18s manager Rob Tuvey said: "The first half was impressive and for the first 20 minutes we hardly put a foot wrong. We had been doing double sessions with the lads and they took on board the information brilliantly. Unfortunately, in the second half our important behaviours dropped and we did not maintain the levels of the first-half. It was great learning for the lads though against quality opposition."
Lead professional coach Mark Robinson added: "It's been great working with Rob every day. We are getting so much time to talk about player development and excellent coaching contact time with the players. I hope he is finding it valuable in his new role and it will give him a good base to work off and add his own personality and ideas to the role. The players certainly took on board our sessions as they were very impressive in the first-half and could have been out of sight. We are all looking forward to the next two games as well as the coaching sessions and cultural activities that lay ahead during the rest of our stay in Spain.”
The second match of the Spanish tour for our Under-18s is due to take place this morning against Xerez FC. For updates on this match, visit the AFC Wimbledon Academy's Twitter page.