AFC Wimbledon Under-18s will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways after a disappointing second-half display last time out.
The young Dons head to Cambridge on Saturday after a 2-1 home defeat versus Southend and manager Rob Tuvey is seeking a return to the form that knocked out Northampton in the cup last week.
“It’s disappointing to lose any game of football, but the manner in which we lost was disappointing," said Rob. "We have worked a lot on the development of our squad so far this season, but their behaviours were well below standards. In the second half, Southend got us on the back foot and as a squad we didn’t problem solve well enough. This is something we expect from all of our age groups. It’s all about belief and setting their standards higher, as we know we have the ability in this group. They must maintain exceptional behaviours, which is something self-managed by the players themselves.”
It had all started so well against Southend. Several chances were created early on and Wimbledon came so close when David Fisher’s shot thudded off the crossbar. Despite Fisher having to go off shortly afterwards with an injury, his replacement Troy Chiabi (pictured) scored a cracking opening goal. A magnificent forward run by Isaac Olaynian set-up Chiabi and he produced a wonder strike to put Wimbledon ahead. However, chances were missed before the break to increase the advantage.
Wimbledon then paid the price for missed opportunities in the second-half. In similar fashion to the defeat against Luton a week previously, Wimbledon were unable to sustain performance levels produced in the first-half. Southend grew in confidence and equalised in the 62nd minute, before netting what turned out to be the winner eight minutes from time.