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Paris leads the way to victory

A superb win for our Under-18s

21 March 2022

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Goals by Paris Lock, Remi Onabanjo and Hugo Few helped our young Dons to a second successive victory in the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League Division One.

The Dons showed a steely resilience to bounce back on Saturday after hosts Southend opened the scoring when Freddie Buers set-up Brian Garzon. It was 1-1 just 60 seconds later when Lock headed home powerfully from close range.

There was almost a second for Wimbledon before the break, but a Southend defender made a goal-line clearance to keep his side level. Our young Dons had to stay resilient after half-time as Max Fiddes and Mo Amir both came close to restoring the home side’s advantage.

After soaking up the pressure, Wimbledon marched into the lead for the first time through Onabanjo, who fired home from six yards.

Just minutes later, Wimbledon broke at pace on the counter attack from a Southend corner and made it 3-1 when Few lobbed the Southend keeper in style.

Southend got themselves back into the game on 77 minutes when Henry Sandat set up a grandstand finish from the spot after being brought down in the penalty area.

Despite that setback, Wimbledon were able to see out the game and make it two wins out of three in the Merit League so far.

Manager Michael Hamilton said: “It was really pleasing to get the victory. The boys had to work hard for it because Southend asked questions and posed a lot of different challenges. I felt that the boys handled it well. We had periods when we had to suffer a little bit, but we came through those spells and we were good for the victory.

“We are big on the boys managing themselves and recognising different scenarios in the game and what they are up against. We want them to come up with different solutions to play their way out of it. In the first-half a lot of the chances Southend had were self-inflicted. At half-time the boys came in with a lot of emotional energy and frustration, but when we were up against it we managed the situation well.”

AFC Wimbledon: Harry Griffiths; Josh Hallard, Ben Mason, Reuben Mason (trialist); Remi Onabanjo, Abdi Alli, Harry Sidwell, Hugo Few, Archie Stevens; David Kawa (Aron Sasu), Paris Lock (Jola Lahan).

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