Young Robins fall to defeatA young Cheltenham Town side produced a brave performance against an experienced team from AFC Wimbledon, but eventually ran out of breath and lost 4-0.
The young Robins, made up of mainly first year scholars and U16's, defended brilliantly in the first half and kept the score to 0-0. Jamie Kilkenny putting in an impressive display to snuff out multiple attacks from the visitors.
Shortly after the break however, AFC Wimbledon were ahead as Toyosi Olusanya smashed home a cross from the right, giving Lewis Clayton no chance in the Cheltenham net.
The Robins continued to battle and George Lloyd, working tirelessly upfront, nearly equalised as Lee Llewelyn's fine ball over the top found him, but he drilled his half-volley inches over the bar.
The lead was doubled in the 70th minute as Dan Gallagher curled in a beautiful free-kick.
That goal brought about changes for the Robins as Will Dawes and James Hancocks were replaced by Ben Hailwood and Adam Page.
Page made his first appearance for 17 months having recovered from two longer term injuries.
The two subs very nearly combined to pull one back in the 76th minute as Page whipped in a beautiful free-kick to the back post that Hailwood just couldn't reach.
Tiring towards the end against their more expereinced opponents, the Robins fell 3-0 behind in the 82nd minute as Neset Bellikli produced yet another great goal.
The scoring was completed in the 89th minute, another long-ranged effort, this time from Egli Kaja, made it 4-0 and gave AFC Wimbledon a deserved victory.
Lewis Clayton, Ollie Hunt (Tom Handley, 81), Owen Williams, Jamie Kilkenny, Matt Bower, Lee Llewelyn, Archie Brennan, James Hancocks (Ben Hailwood, 71), Tyreece Briscoe, George Llyod, Will Dawes (Adam Page, 71)
Watch Academy Manager Antoine Thompson and U18's Coach Pete Haynes reflecting on the loss and the future of the academy, on Robins TV here: