An impressive free-kick from Jack Madelin helped our Under-18s to maintain an unbeaten run that stretches back to December.
Madelin (pictured), who made his first-team debut in October, struck the equaliser against Southend on Saturday, before Isaac Ogundere fired home an injury-time winner to earn a dramatic 2-1 away victory.
It had looked far from promising early on for a young Dons side that were last defeated in the FA Youth Cup at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United. Matthew Cox, who had just returned from England Under-17 international duty, was the busier of the two keepers by far, in particular making two fine saves to deny Southend. However, there was nothing he could do to prevent Southend taking the lead on the stroke of half-time in this EFL Merit League Division One match.
Having a one-goal deficit to overcome, Wimbledon attempted to raise the tempo levels at the start of the second-half. Under-16 player Josh Hallard did very well to get to the by-line down the right hand side on two occasions, but no one was able to get on the end of his cut-backs. Quaine Bartley continued the probing press for an equaliser after a lofted pass fell into to his path, but he slammed against a post with his one versus one opportunity.
Despite the equaliser proving to be elusive for Wimbledon, there was no shortage of belief amongst the squad and Madelin restored parity in the 89th minute, scoring in style from a free-kick just outside the area. With time running out, Wimbledon went all out for the win and it came deep into injury-time when Ogundere finished clinically from close-range. It capped an admirable turnaround from our young Dons and maintained their momentum in league and cup this season.