First half strikes from Tyler Goodrham and Elijah Coe saw the U18s begin Merit League One with a 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at the Training Ground this morning.
It was a new side to look at for Leon Blackmore-Such and Chris Hackett’s U18s with the likes of Clinton Nosakhare and Coe starting from the U16s alongside the first year scholars whilst U15 George Franklin earned a place on the bench.
AFC Wimbledon fired a warning shot after five minutes as the young U18 side got to grips against a physical side. It didn’t take long for the youngsters to take advantage however. Goodrham siezed on a loose ball and slipped a pass into the feet of Slavi Spasov. The forward played it back to the youngster who had made a good run,shifted the ball onto his left and blasted the ball into the far corner to give United the advantage.
United had sparked into life and began a sustained spell of pressure as Spasov and Goodrham both fired in dangerous crosses towards top scorer Callum Crook who looked eager to add to his tally of 28 goals this season. On 24 minutes, United’s efforts were rewarded as Coe rifled home the U’s second of the game with a half volley from the edge of the area to put United in control.
Wimbledon attacked in spells towards the end of the first half but had difficulty finding space behind fullbacks Sam Johnson and Trey Grant who both impressed. The visitors had a goal ruled out for offside just before half time but United preserved their deserved lead at the break.
Wimbledon had the better of play in the opening exchanges of the second half but couldn’t take advantage. On 60 minutes United didn’t deal well with a corner but Wimbledon couldn’t convert from 12 yards. It was a physical battle between the two sides but the U’s remained strong defensively.
Spasov had two chances to put the game beyond doubt as a good cross from Johnson was inches ahead of the forward before he forced a good save on 70’ one-on-one with the Wimbledon stopper. However United finished the game strongly to ensure they began Merit League One positively with a win over AFC Wimbledon. Next up for the youngsters is a trip to Portsmouth next weekend.
UNITED: Niemczycki, Grant, Johnson, Gardner, Nosakhare, Trialist, Goodrham, Coe (Ferguson), Spasov (Smith), Anifowose (Franklin), Crook (Owens)
Unused Subs: Trialist
Report by Liam Potter