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Late goal by Tepe is not enough for young Dons

Wimbledon edged out at home to Luton

16 October 2023

Club News

Late goal by Tepe is not enough for young Dons

Wimbledon edged out at home to Luton

16 October 2023

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s left it too late to salvage a draw on Saturday with Simon Clark’s side beaten for just the second time this season.

Mathias Tepe’s goal turned out to be of consolation value only as the young Dons suffered a 2-1 home reverse against Luton Town, though Wimbledon were inches away from earning a share of the spoils as a free-kick from captain Kai Jennings (pictured right above) struck a post.

Wimbledon remain top of the EFL Youth Alliance South East after a game when a glut of chances were squandered by the hosts in the match at New Malden.

Wimbledon lined up with Max Foulkes in goal, with Mathias Tepe, Ollie Downs, Leo Young and Riley Horan as the back four. Kai Jennings, Harry Sidwell and Hugo Few formed the midfield, playing in behind the front three of Tom Wilson, Ed Leach and Junior Nkeng.

The Dons were fast out of the blocks, and Few went through on goal after good approach play, but his strike was well saved by the Luton keeper. Shortly afterwards, Nkeng drove down the left flank, before cutting back a cross which was met by Leach, only for the ball to land comfortably in the arms of the opposition goalkeeper. Two early chances had been missed to make the breakthrough and the pressure continued. Few latched onto a cross from Leach, but Luton’s number one saved – and he was proving to be the difference maker here.

Luton took the lead - completely against the run of play – before half-time with a shot from the edge of the area that beat Foulkes, but the second-half continued to be all Wimbledon.

Following the restart, Nkeng cut in onto his stronger right boot, before seeing another strike saved well by Luton’s keeper – and that turned out to be a decisive moment in the outcome of this match. The visitors doubled their advantage shortly afterwards, and that meant there was a mountain to climb for the young Dons.

In response, Simon Clark decided that a treble change was required with Kelvin Kargbo, Shawn Soukou and Jake Lawrence replacing Wilson, Downs and Few respectively. As The Dons continued to control possession in the final third, the breakthrough came at last, but too late. A cut-back cross was dummied cleverly by Leach and calmly finished by right back Tepe – a well-executed goal that set-up the possibility of salvaging a point.

The equaliser so nearly came when a well-struck free-kick by Jennings smashed against a post, but it was not to be on the day for Wimbledon.

Photo: Rob Cornell.


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