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Match Reports

Dons edge through after seven-goal cup thriller

Young Wimbledon side progress in London Senior Cup

10 December 2019

AFC Wimbledon earned a place in the last-eight of the London Senior Cup after edging a thrilling cup match at Cray Valley Paper Mills.

The tie exploded into life with six goals in the second half, as Kyron Stabana, Tommy Wood and Finlay Macnab (pictured) added to Jack Rudoni's first half opener against the Isthmian League South East Division side and last season's FA Vase runners-up.

Mark Robinson started six of the Under-18s squad, all of whom are likely to figure in a week's time at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United in the FA Youth Cup.

Wimbledon almost gained the upper hand with a quarter of an hour gone, as Ayoub Assal got his header on target, but it was saved. At the other end, Huseyin Biler conceded a free kick outside the box and was shown the yellow card. Goalkeeper Matthew Cox got to grips with the ball to make the save from the subsequent free-kick.

The young Dons took the lead after 19 minutes following more pressure and opened the scoring from a corner. Jack Rudoni, eager to make up for his penalty being saved at Molesey last week, planted a well placed header into the net.

Cox asserted himself well as he settled in goal for Wimbledon, taking command of his area and supported well by Archie Procter. Stabana forced a save out of Cray Valley keeper and captain Andy Walker with half an hour gone. Two minutes before the break, Wood went on a surging run, but he was met by Walker and the score remained in Wimbledon's favour by just the one goal at the break.

With the wind behind them, Wimbledon made a positive start to the second half. Wood provided a cross for Adam Roscrow, but Walker got to the ball first in the 50th minute. However, Cray Valley equalised in the 56th minute when a foul was committed in the area and Gavin Tomlin levelled the scores from the penalty spot.

It was short-lived though as Wimbledon recovered well and put two further goals between them and the hosts. Firstly, Stabana fired home from the edge of the box in the 62nd minute and then Wood finished well three minutes later.

Ashley and Roscrow were replaced having stepped up their returns from injury, but with 20 minutes to go Kweku Ansah reduced the deficit from close range for Cray Valley.

The scoring wasn't over. With six minutes remaining Wimbledon restored the two-goal advantage direct from a curling corner, superbly delivered by substitute Macnab. Ashley Sains headed in for Cray Valley to make it 3-4, but Wimbledon held on to beat more experienced opponents and claim a place in the quarter-finals of a competition last won by The Dons in 2014.

AFC Wimbledon: Matthew Cox, Kyron Stabana, Issac Ogundere, KJ Osu, Archie Procter, Huseyin Biler (Dylan Adjei Hersey), Ossama Ashley (Finlay Macnab), Jack Rudoni, Ayoub Assal, Tommy Wood, Adam Roscrow (Zach Robinson).

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