AFC Wimbledon Under-18s resumed the league campaign on Tuesday with a victory, just days after booking a place in the final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup Southern section.
A goal by Jack Currie and a successful penalty by Isaac Olaniyan (pictured) earned a 2-1 victory against Stevenage on Tuesday in the EFL Youth Alliance South East. That maintained the feel-good factor around the academy after the Under-18s earned a tilt at winning silverware by coming through a semi-final against Oxford United on Saturday.
The young Dons will now face Cambridge United in the final after that hard-fought win. After just 15 minutes of the match versus Oxford, manager Rob Tuvey sensed something needed to change if his side were going to get anything out of the game and he decided to shuffle things around tactically. The Dons saw out the half with players looking as if they understood their roles better, without really offering a goal threat.
The second-half started in similar fashion with neither side threatening to score. A heart in mouth moment for Wimbledon arose when Jack Madelin threw his body on the line to just about make a goal-line clearance. A positive substitution with Marcel Campbel coming on for Kwaku Frimpong was an attacking signal of intent from Wimbledon and that approach was rewarded when in-form forward Troy Chiabi broke the deadlock. A long throw was launched into the area by full-back Currie, which allowed Chiabi to control, swivel, and get his shot off, and he produced a clinical finish to find the back of the net.
There was a big chance of an Oxford equaliser when the referee pointed to the spot to award the from the spot four minutes later. However, Matthew Cox went the right way and made an incredible save.
The match finished 1-0, earning the young Dons a crack at winning silverware in the southern section final against Cambridge United.