Joe Pigott took a significant step on the road to full fitness by coming through 90 minutes for our development squad this afternoon.
The 25-year-old, who is Wimbledon’s top scorer this season, has not played for the first-team since early December due to a thigh injury, but he today completed the full game in a Central League away match against Milton Keynes.
Coach Alan Reeves said: “Joe looked fine and he worked really hard up front against centre-backs from their first-team squad.”
New signing Dylan Connolly, who came on for his debut at Coventry City, also boosted his match fitness by playing for 75 minutes.
Today’s match ended in a 4-0 loss with two goals in each half for the hosts. The home side won it through Ryan Watson, Ousseynou Cisse, Lawson D’Ath, and a James O’Halloran own goal. Milton Keynes included six players from the first-team squad that were beaten at Bury on Saturday.
Wimbledon came closest to a goal through Kane Crichlow, who struck the underside of the crossbar and the match officials ruled that the ball hadn’t crossed the line before it was cleared by David Kasumu. Connolly also shot wide in the first-half. Pigott and Tommy Wood were denied by home keeper Stuart Moore at vital moments.
Alan Reeves said that Wimbledon missed chances at important times and he felt that his side should have had a penalty with 15 minutes left as the referee initially pointed to the spot for handball.
“We had some good performances out there, but they were more experienced and clinical,” said Alan. “They took their chances and that was the difference between the two sides. At 1-0 down, Tommy Wood was clean through, but his shot was saved, and they went down the other end and made it 2-0. We also had a penalty awarded to us at 3-0 down for handball, but the linesman intervened and the referee changed his mind. On the balance of play and chances created, the scoreline was harsh."
It was Wimbledon’s first defeat at Under-23 development level since last September.
AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Kyron Stabana, Toby Sibbick, Archie Proctor, James O'Halloran, Dylan Connolly (Jack Madelin), Ossama Ashley (Finlay Macnab), Alfie Egan, Kane Crichlow, Tommy Wood, Joe Pigott.