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James has one eye on next season after narrow defeat

Under-18s report and highlights

26 April 2021

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Our young prospects were just edged out by AFC Bournemouth on Saturday with a fantastic free-kick required to defeat the young Dons.

Manager James Oliver-Pearce (pictured) was pleased with the performance of our Under-18s in the first-half at Canford Arena as the hosts were put under sustained pressure. However, James felt there was not enough attacking conviction after a wonder free-kick by Jack Adams that earned a 1-0 win for Bournemouth.

“It was a really good game of football and both teams tried to play in the right way,” said James. “In the first-half we had some really good chances, but the goalkeeper made some fantastic saves. In the second-half we didn’t have enough creativity and cutting edge to get ourselves level. Ultimately, they scored with an absolutely fantastic free-kick. We are setting our stall out for next season in terms of what our squad will look like.

“The current second years are getting consistent messages and they are keeping their match sharpness up. At this stage of the season, we are looking at what next season is going to look like and how we start to structure the squad and start to build principles and relationships, so that when we get back next year a lot of it is already in place.”

Troy Chiabi twice came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening exchanges, on the latter occasion after fine play by Dylan Adjei-Hersey. Quaine Bartley also struck off target with a fine acrobatic attempt, before the Dons came even closer when Isaac Ogundere set-up David Kawa, but his shot was well saved. Bartley also had a shot cleared off the line as Wimbledon piled on the pressure.

Following the superb opening goal by Adams, Wimbledon pressed in the second-half for an equaliser. Ethan Sutcliffe had a goal-bound shot blocked and Charlie Morgan was denied by the keeper, as Bournemouth held on for victory in the Merit League.

AFC Wimbledon: Harry Griffiths, Isaac Ogundere, Jola Lahan, Reuben Mason, Remi Onabanjo, Hugo Few, Vharlie Morgan, Dylan Adjei-Hershey, Troy Chiabi, David Kawa, Quaine Bartley. Subs: Ethan Sutcliffe, Marcel Campbell, Julian Sarmiento-Ramirez, Olly Khinda, Ibrahim Bangura.

Watch the highlights from the game at Bournemouth by clicking on the link below.

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