A first-half goal by Julian Sarmiento-Ramirez was just enough to edge AFC Wimbledon Under-18s back to winning ways.
After a first defeat since early December against Oxford United on the previous Saturday, Wimbledon’s young talents bounced back with a 1-0 win at Peterborough United. It keeps our Under-18s among the early pace-setters in the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League One with two wins out of three so far since the divisions were split.
Wimbledon could have had the perfect start when a Matthew Cox goal-kick almost turned into an assist for Troy Chiabi, who was just stopped by a last-ditch tackle before he could get his shot away. The Dons kept the ball well in spells of the first-half and started to look the more comfortable of the two sides. Midway through the first-half, Wimbledon came tantalisingly close to an opening goal. Teo Kurtaran committed two players down the left side, before picking out Sarmiento-Ramirez and his whipped effort came back off a post.
A goal just before the break gave Wimbledon the lead and it was the in-form Sarmiento-Ramirez who made the difference. The dynamic attacking talent finished off clinically after a lovely team move that involved eight players and the goal offered Wimbledon plenty of encouragement heading into the second-half.
The second-half started with a similar pattern to the first as Wimbledon continued to dominate possession and chances. However, there was a key tactical change made by opposition manager Matthew Etherington that was a compliment to Wimbledon. The former Spurs and West Ham player changed Peterborough’s formation to nullify Wimbledon’s wing-backs. Though that approach worked to an extent by stopping Wimbledon from retaining a foothold on possession, Peterborough were unable to exert any real pressure of their own and the young Dons held on for a hard-fought victory.