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Match Reports

Cup joy for young Dons as Lock’s late winner knocks out Burnley

Wimbledon earn fourth round match versus Spurs at Plough Lane

18 March 2021

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A dramatic winner by substitute Paris Lock earned a superb victory for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s as they upset the odds to knock out Burnley.

With a performance full of guts, endeavour, and no shortage of skill, the Dons eliminated Burnley with a 1-0 victory at Plough Lane, thanks to 16-year-old Lock's 82nd minute winner. It was fully deserved on the night - and it came 46 years since then Southern League Wimbledon knocked out top-flight Burnley. It was an overall display to make those Dons fans watching on a live stream on our You Tube channel extremely proud. The reward is a mouthwatering home tie versus Spurs in the next round.

Manager James Oliver-Pearce had to do without three key players for this match with Luke Jenkins, Julian Sarmiento-Ramirez, and Isaac Olaniyan ruled out due to injury. Six players were in the starting line-up from the side that started in the last round at AFC Sudbury, a match in which Dylan Adjei-Hersey scored the decisive goal with a fantastic free-kick. It was certainly not going to be easy for the young Dons as they were taking on a category one academy side in the same league as Manchester United and Liverpool’s youngsters. Our Under-18s were aiming to create a bit of cup history for themselves almost half a century since Wimbledon knocked Burnley out of the FA Cup.

Wimbledon started this match the better of the two teams. Quaine Bartley was very lively early on, showing plenty of energy to unsettle Burnley’s defence. Abdi Ali, who had impressed in the first round victory versus Oxford United, started well in midfield, and he had Wimbledon’s first shot at goal. A lovely run took Ali into the penalty box, but his shot was too close to Burnley keeper Sam Waller. The best chance of the first half hour came after lovely play down the left flank by Troy Chiabi, who crossed from the left to pick out Adjei-Hersey. Though he met the header well with good power, Waller pulled off a fine save.

During a well contested first-half, Burnley fashioned a half chance when they found Will Hugill in space in the box, but he shot over from an acute angle. Adjei-Hersey also showed good vision to pick out Bartley, but he was unable to make the most of it. Obed Yeboah showed good skill to set-up a shooting opportunity, but his shot was well over the crossbar.

As we approached half-time, Matthew Cox was required to demonstrate his qualities when he sprinted out of the area and showed no fear to win a challenge with Burnley winger Finlay Armstrong. The half-time whistle sounded with the score at 0-0 and the Dons could take encouragement from the first-half display. Wimbledon’s back four had certainly acquitted themselves well with Isaac Ogundere and Ethan Sutcliffe flanked by Ben Mason and Josh Hallard.

The second-half continued to be well contested with little separating the two sides. Chiabi continued to work hard up front, using his pace to work the channels, but it was proving difficult against a well-drilled Burnley defence. Adjei-Hersey made space for a shot, but his effort was well over the crossbar. With 65 minutes on the clock, James Oliver-Pearce made his first substitution with Aron Sasu replacing Quaine Bartley.

Burnley almost landed a killer blow from a quick counter-attack in the 78th minute. A ball through the middle caught out Wimbledon and Michael Mellon powered through on goal, but Cox pulled off a fine save to deny him. That proved to be even more important four minutes later when two Wimbledon substitutes combined for the opening goal. Sasu did very well to get to a through ball before Waller and send the ball across the face of the goal. Paris Lock was then in a race against time to get there and he showed plenty of determination to reach the ball at the far post and squeeze it home.

Burnley responded by attempting to conjure up the equaliser, but Wimbledon defended valiantly, summed up by the energetic Ben Mason, who showed real tenacity in the right-back position to make a vital last-gasp block. The final whistle signalled jubilant celebrations from Dons players and staff - and deservedly so.

AFC Wimbledon: Matthew Cox, Troy Chiabi, Kwaka Frimpong, Isaac Ogundere, Ben Mason, Abdi Ali, Ethan Sutcliffe, Josh Hallard, Quaine Bartley (Aron Sasu), Obed Yeboah (Paris Lock), Dylan Adjei-Hersey.


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