AFC Wimbledon Under-18s marched through to the second round of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup with an emphatic victory at our training ground today.
Pompey’s youngsters were on the receiving end of an impressive attacking performance at New Malden, as the young Dons triumphed 5-1 with Zach Robinson’s double leading the charge. Dylan Adjei-Hersey, Jack Madelin, and Troy Chiabi were also on target in an entertaining cup tie that was played in scorching heat this afternoon.
It didn’t take long for Wimbledon to make the breakthrough and it came from an unsurprising source with Robinson continuing his prolific form this season, the striker cracking home emphatically in the ninth minute. There was no let-up from Wimbledon and the advantage was nearly doubled through Ayoub Assal, who just missed the target. However, in an all-action start from both teams, Pompey plundered the equaliser less than two minutes later with a smart finish from Alfie Stanley.
The Dons responded quickly and Assal, who produced a dynamic attacking display throughout, was just denied by the keeper in a one versus one, before he missed the target after getting on the end of a cross by Adjei-Hersey. There was no denying Wimbledon though and it was 2-1 just after the half hour when Madelin headed home after Assal guided the ball into his path with his head. Though Adjei-Hersey had a shot deflected just wide before the break, Pompey twice came close to levelling before half-time. Wimbledon keeper Matthew Cox made a simply stunning full stretch save to stop a Pompey free-kick finding the back of the net and the visitors also struck the crossbar.
Following a much-needed break in the soaring heat, Wimbledon extended the advantage four minutes into the second-half. It was the goal of the game as a fine move ended with Assal’s cross picking out Adjei-Hersey, who struck a lovely volley to make it three. The Dons dominated the second-half and it was almost four when Assal set-up Robinson, but he rounded the keeper and then shot wide. Assal also shot over the crossbar after impressive play on the flank by Huseyin Biler.
Pompey attempted to get back into it and exerted pressure around the hour mark. Cox stayed alert to make a fine save and centre-back pairing Luke Jenkins and Madelin showed their aerial ability to repel Portsmouth attacks. However, it was effectively game over 15 minutes from time when Robinson finished off clinically after a good assist from Adjei-Hersey. Robinson almost secured his hat-trick, but his goal-bound shot was blocked after he had rounded the keeper. A fifth goal did arrive though when substitute Troy Chiabi finished off emphatically with a minute of normal time remaining. Overall, it was an impressive attacking display from a Wimbledon side that have hit form after losing on the opening day of the EFL Youth Alliance League season at Northampton.
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s: Matt Cox, Huseyin Biler, Luke Jenkins, Jack Madelin, Issac Ogundere (Jamil Awoyejo), Kwaku Frimpong (Issac Olaniyan), KJ Osu, Julian Sarmiento-Ramirez (Troy Chiabi), Dylan Adjei-Hersey, Ayoub Assal (Elliott Bolton), Zach Robinson.