An impressive recent run for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s came to a grinding halt on Saturday.
The young Dons suffered a 5-1 home defeat against Peterborough United, after falling 3-0 behind at the break. Though Bobby Mills threatened a second-half fightback, Peterborough proved too strong on the day.
The Dons had started brightly, creating early chances for Zach Robinson and Mills, but Peterborough struck three before the break with some clinical finishing. The Dons pulled one back before half time when a fantastic cross by Huseyin Biler was met by Mills, who guided it home with his head. Wimbledon were certainly creating enough chances to believe they could get back into the game, but in the second half the young Dons contributed to their own downfall. Zach Robinson missed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit further and then a couple of minutes later poor ball retention led to Peterborough scoring on the break. A fifth was added when a soft shot squeezed under Bert White's body.
Oli Shackleton struck twice for Peterborough with Jack Gurney, Harrison Burrows and Ricky Jade-Jones also on target.
Following the match, manager Mark Robinson said: "I have to be honest, I did not see that coming. The lads had been in good form. Peterborough were extremely clinical in the first-half. I think they had four shots and scored three goals. However, we cannot hide the fact that we conceded five goals and there was so much going on that was not good enough. They kept their game very simple and in the final third they were lively, clinical and played with good detail on a difficult surface. We over-complicated our game on a difficult surface, which led to too many turnovers and in the final third we were neither clinical or played with good enough detail. We also lost too many physical battles and when that happens you end up with this sort of score line.
"I honestly thought this kind of performance and result was well behind us, so I will also need to look at our preparation this week to see if there was anything we did not do well enough. The first-team management are showing fantastic trust in young academy products, so we need to keep our standards sky high. If they were standing with me watching this game they would not have seen a lot to be enthused about. That does not mean we do not have talent in the squad. We definitely have that, but the lads need to recognise you need to be relentless in your standards on and off the pitch, otherwise those poor habits will sneak back into their games."
Click on the link below to watch highlights from this match.