AFC Wimbledon Under-18s hit the goal trail once again to maintain an impressive run of form.
Goals from Issac Olaniyan, Elliott Bolton, and Ayoub Assal (pictured) earned a 3-0 victory away at Southend on Saturday in a match that was a dress rehearsal for another clash between the teams in the Youth Alliance Cup. The win extended the unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions for Wimbledon’s young talents.
The young Dons marched into the lead in the 15th minute. After defending a Southend corner, Zach Robinson intelligently switched play from right to left, providing Olaniyan with plenty of time and his well struck shot took a slight deflection to find the top corner. Wimbledon were unable to build on that during the rest of the first-half as Southend battled to make a game of it.
There was a notable change for Wimbledon at half-time with Under-16 Ethan Sutcliffe entering the fray and he produced a tidy and composed display at the back, winning the majority of his aerial duels. At the other end, a chance followed to double the advantage when Assal’s fine pass put Robinson clean through, but he was denied by the Southend keeper. A second goal did follow in the 86th minute though when Bolton rose highest in the box to head home emphatically after a fine cross from Husuyin Biler. With the game effectively won, manager Rob Tuvey handed opportunities to Under-16s Marcel Campbell and Ben Mason with both players having developed well through the guidance of James Oliver-Pearce.
With time running out, a third goal followed for Wimbledon and it was the direct approach that worked to great effect on this occasion. Goalkeeper Matthew Cox struck a long pass that put Assal through on goal and he made no mistake with a smart finish into the bottom corner.