A second-half goal by Dylan Adjei-Hersey (pictured) was not enough to earn a league point for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s at Gillingham on Saturday.
The young Dons were beaten 2-1 in a match that would have offered final match preparation for the big FA Youth Cup tie versus Burnley, which was postponed after the FA decision to suspend the competition.
Wimbledon starting brightly in Kent on Saturday, looking the most likely to break the deadlock. Adjei-Hersey came close early on after he got on the end of a cross by Quaine Bartley, but the Gillingham keeper just managed to get a hand to the ball. Bartley also came close with a shot on target from outside the box, but the home keeper was again equal to it. However, the hosts snatched the lead in the 44th minute after Wimbledon failed to deal with a cross swept into the box from a free-kick.
The Dons produced a strong response after the break, continuing to create chances, and reward finally came with the equaliser. Troy Chiabi received the ball on the right wing, before cutting inside, and finding Adjei-Hersey in the box. The man who scored the decisive goal at AFC Sudbury in the FA Youth Cup showed fine control to chest and volley the ball on target, but a touch of fortune followed as the keeper saved it, but it rebounded back off him and into the net.
At the other end, Mathew Cox stopped Gillingham from taking the lead with a fine save, but there was nothing he could do to stop the hosts notching the winner, which came through a well-executed free-kick.
AFC Wimbledon: Matthew Cox, Ethan Sutcliffe, Ben Mason, Josh Hallard, Isaac Ogundere (C), Kwaku Frimpong, Isaac Olanyian, Dylan Adjei-Hershey, Troy Chiabi, Quaine Bartley, Marcel Campbell. Subs: Julian Sarmiento-Ramirez, Aron Sasu, Abdi Ali, Ibrahim Bangura and Adejola Lahan.
Click on the link below to watch highlights from the game.