AFC Wimbledon Under-18s marched to top spot in the Football League Youth Alliance South East after showing plenty of resilience to defeat Southend United.
The young Dons came from 3-1 down to earn a dramatic 4-3 win with goals by Ibrahim Bangura, Aron Sasu, Archie Stevens, Quaine Bartley (pictured). Despite showing character in abundance to bounce back, manager James Oliver-Pearce felt the performance fell below the high standards that his side had set this season.
Speaking after the victory away at Southend, James said: “It was a frustrating day, and there’s a bit of context behind the performance I feel. It was the first away game we’ve had since going back to school, and you could see during the week that the focus of the boys wasn’t quite there. The manner of the goals we conceded would suggest that. That’s something we will certainly have to review.
“There was a bit of a come down from the Northampton performance, which was excellent. Today we had to show a bit more resilience and we came from 1-0 down and 3-1 down to win 4-3. We looked like we were fit and strong. Despite not playing well, the boys were able to win, so from their point of view they will be pleased, but from my point of view the level of performance was not up to the level we’ve become accustomed to.”
Click on the link below to watch an interview with James and young defender Ethan Sutcliffe, plus highlights from the victory.