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Gallant exit for young Dons in national cup

Report from yesterday's semi-final at the training ground

9 March 2022

A goal by Josh Hallard came too late to force extra-time as our Under-18s suffered semi-final heartbreak yesterday.

Hallard (pictured left above) narrowed the deficit to 3-2 in the Southern Area Final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup, but our boys were just unable to complete the fightback. 

That meant that the Hatters won through to the final of the national competition.

Luton were good value for the win and the visitors enjoyed a period of dominance before they grabbed the first goal of the afternoon. It was 2-0 when Dons keeper Luka Ziger was caught in possession and Luton took full advantage.

The deficit appeared to spark Wimbledon into action and our first real chance of the game came when Marcel Campbell saw his shot go wide of the target towards the end of the first 45 minutes.

The Dons were a different side in the second-half with Michael Hamilton's side on a mission to ensure it was them and not the visitors progressing onto the national final. The deficit was halved when Ben Mason headed home and that gave the young Dons momentum to kick on, but an injury to Campbell cut that short.

Ziger got down well to keep out a powerful strike that would have restored Town’s two-goal advantage, but it was only a temporary reprieve as the visitors struck after the Dons had failed to deal with a corner.

Despite the setback, Wimbledon refused to accept defeat and a goal back came in fortuitous circumstances with Hallard finding the back of the net direct from a corner. Camped in the Luton half for the remainder of the game, the young Dons just came up short in pursuit of a late equaliser as the visitors progressed into the national final. 

Wimbledon: Luka Ziger; Ben Mason, Reuben Mason, Josh Hallard, Ibrahim Bangura, Abdi Ali, Hugo Few, Marcel Campbell, Morgan Williams, Alfie Bendle.

Subs: David Kawa for Hugo Few, Aron Sasu for Marcel Campbell, Remi Onabanyo for Ibrahim Bangura. Unused subs: Aaron Jones, Jola Lahan.


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