AFC Wimbledon 4-3 Spurs U21s - report from Cherry Red Records Stadium
03 October 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Ex-Spurs Academy product Dean Parrett scored the winner against us as our Under-21s surrendered a deserved lead three times before succumbing to a stoppage-time defeat in our first ever meeting with AFC Wimbledon in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
Playing our second game in Group F, we more than matched up to the League One hosts, who named a full XI of players with Football League experience, four of whom featured in Saturday's goalless draw with Rochdale – a game watched by four of our lads in preparation for our trip to the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Indeed, the scouting report provided to the group by skipper Joe Pritchard, Ryan Loft, Oliver Skipp and George Marsh paid dividends for large parts of the contest as we took the game to the Dons and carved out three good goals from Shilow Tracey, Samuel Shashoua and Kazaiah Sterling – the latter two superbly assisted by Keanan Bennetts from left-back.
But each time we conceded swiftly at the other end, twice falling foul of not marking at the back post on corners before Toby Sibbick drilled home his second of the game and Parrett, who played four first team games for us in Europe between 2009 and 2011, glanced home a late, late winner.
It means we're still on one point in the group and in need of a win against Barnet in November, while hoping Luton Town drop points against the Dons, who are already through, if we're to stand a chance of progressing to the next stage.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 0-1 SPURS - SHILOW TRACEY - 16mins
Lessons were clearly learned from our opening game against Luton back in August as we made a much more positive start, moving the ball around with pace and purpose. It came as no surprise when we took a 16th-minute lead as Tracey controlled a ball forward from the back and showed tremendous composure to exchange passes with central striker Sterling before dispatching a low shot confidently past Joe McDonnell.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 1-1 SPURS - TOBY SIBBICK - 19mins
Unfortunately we were only ahead for three minutes as the Dons won a corner, skipper Paul Robinson wasn't picked up, his goalbound header was blocked on the line and the ball fell kindly for Sibbick to nod home from three yards out. Tom Soares ran on and struck an already moving ball with venom towards the top corner from 25 yards three minutes later, but goalkeeper Brandon Austin was equal to it with a diving save to his right.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 1-2 SPURS - SAMUEL SHASHOUA - 34mins
The equaliser didn't seem to adversely affect us and we fashioned a brilliant second goal on 34 minutes when Bennetts (pictured, below) swept along the left touchline, leaving three players riding his coat-tails before cutting back for Shashoua to apply an equally tidy first-time finish into the bottom corner.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 2-2 SPURS - EGLI KAJA - 38mins
Similar problems plagued us as we again conceded an equaliser after failing to deal with a corner. Sloppy marking at the back of the pack saw the ball again sent back into the danger zone but after this time dealing with the second phase, we were undone when the ball fell to Egli Kaja to drill through a congested area from just inside the box.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 2-3 SPURS - KAZAIAH STERLING - 59mins
After a low shot from Kaja went straight at Austin, the excellent Bennetts engineered another goal for us as he tricked his way past his marker down our left, scampered into the box and squared for Sterling to convert from six yards.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 3-3 SPURS - TOBY SIBBICK - 60mins
It was the same story as we allowed the home side straight back into the game. This time, we couldn't quite clear our lines at the edge of the area and Sibbick drilled in his second of the night, beating Austin low down.
CHANCES: TRIO OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR HOSTS - 63-79mins
Although we remained in control of the possession, in truth it was Wimbledon who had the better chances in the latter stages of the game. Austin pulled off a marvellous double save to deny Alfie Egan and substitute Lyle Taylor, Egan turned wide on the counter and Taylor, arriving late in the box, put one over the bar.
GOAL: AFC WIMBLEDON 4-3 SPURS - DEAN PARRETT - 90+2mins
Parrett, who left us for Stevenage in 2013 after a series of loan spells, was introduced off the bench in the home side's final change on 64 minutes and duly came back to haunt us in the second minute of added time, flicking home a cross from the left to steal maximum points for his side.
COACH WAYNE BURNETT SAID
“I’m disappointed with the result but not with the performance. I thought we played very well at times, played some decent football and created some chances. I know the AFC Wimbledon manager (Neal Ardley), he’s put out a strong team but we’ve competed with them and we’re pleased about that.
“We worked on corners for about 25 minutes yesterday so for all the work we’ve done, you have to focus and you have to concentrate. The game doesn’t change – the goals are scored in certain areas and you’ve either got to stop the ball coming into those certain areas or you’ve got to defend those areas. We didn’t do that well enough tonight.”
AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Sibbick, Kennedy, Robinson (c), Charles, Egan, Hartigan, Soares (Trotter 46), Kaja, McDonald (Taylor 56), Forrester (Parrett 64). Substitutes (not used): Francomb, Nightingale, Kalambayi, Tzanev (GK).
Spurs U21s: Austin, Marsh, Bennetts, Skipp, C Maghoma, Dinzeyi (Lyons-Foster 71), S Shashoua (Griffiths 89), Amos, Sterling, Pritchard (c), Tracey (Loft 71). Substitutes (not used): P Maghoma, O'Reilly (GK).
Goals: AFC Wimbledon - Sibbick 19, 60, Kaja 38, Parrett 90+2; Spurs - Tracey 16, Shashoua 34, Sterling 59.
Referee: Antony Coggins.
We return to Premier League 2 action on Friday 13 October against Leicester City, kick-off 1pm at the Training Centre.