A wonder goal by Abdi Ali sealed a convincing friendly victory for our Under-18s against Birmingham City.
Ali (pictured) volleyed home the final goal in a 4-1 away victory for the young Dons with Troy Chiabi notching a double and Dylan Adjei Hersey also on target. Manager James Oliver-Pearce described Ali’s strike as ‘outstanding’, as Wimbledon warmed up for a return to league action against Oxford with an emphatic win.
Wimbledon marched in front after 10 minutes through a well-worked free-kick routine. Kwaku Frimpong set-up for Adjei-Hershey to swing the ball towards the back post, where Isaac Ogundere squared the ball to Troy Chiabi, and he made no mistake. At the other end, Dons keeper Aaron Jones had to stay alert when he made his first two saves of the game. Jones made an even better stop when he reacted well to save a shot after the Dons had failed to deal with a Birmingham free-kick.
The Dons almost doubled the advantage when Adjei-Hersey got on the end of a fine long ball by Frimpong and struck a shot that rattled the crossbar, but Obed Yeboah fired the follow-up just wide. However, a second goal did come just before the half hour mark. Frimpong was the architect as he showed fine skill to break Birmingham’s defensive line and the ball eventually found its way to Chiabi, who finished clinically.
Wimbledon took a 2-0 lead into the second-half and it was almost three when David Kawa did well to find substitute Quaine Bartley, but his shot was saved by the keeper. Birmingham halved the deficit through an impressive free-kick from outside the area, but Marcel Campbell almost restored the two-goal cushion with a shot from distance.
The hosts pressed for an equaliser and Dons keeper Aaron Jones was required to make a fine save to stop Birmingham striking an equaliser. However, a third goal followed for Wimbledon. Ali won the ball in midfield and a fine move involving Bartley ended with Adjei-Hersey leaving the Birmingham defence trailing in his wake before he slotted home well. The best was still to come from Wimbledon. A corner by Adjei-Hersey was punched clear by the Birmingham keeper, but Ali watched the ball all the way, before delivering a fantastic volley that arrowed into the back of the net.
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s: Aaron Jones, Ben Mason, Isaac Ogundere, Ethan Sutcliffe, Remi Onabanjo, Abdi Ali, Kwaku Frimpong, Troy Chiabi, David Kawa, Obed Yeboah and Dylan Adjei-Hershey. Subs: Luka Ziger, Marcel Campbell and Quaine Bartley.
Click on the links below to watch the highlights, plus an interview with manager James Oliver-Pearce and Abdi Ali.