Second half fightback denies young Dons the points – News
Luke Jenkins netted on debut but a young Dons side succumbed to a second-half fightback from Barrow as we left Holker Street empty-handed.
With Nik Tzanev ruled out through injury, Nathan Broome came in for his league debut and four academy graduates made the starting XI. Under-18s goalkeeper Harry Griffiths and striker Obed Yeboah were among those on a very youthful substitutes bench for a Dons squad missing nine first-team regulars. Another late blow was dealt with Huseyin Biler missing.
We got off to a dream start when Jenkins headed over from inside the area on debut, the defender turned and fired the ball low into the net after getting on the end of an Armani Little set-piece. Five minutes later, Kasey McAteer fired a shot from outside the area that tested Barrow keeper Paul Farman, who struggled to hold onto the ball at the first attempt.
It was an encouraging first quarter of the game for the Dons, who maintained an attacking presence. Just past the midway point of the half, Isaac Ogundere was shown the first yellow of the afternoon. In the 28th minute Ethan Chislett showed great skill to fight his way into the penalty area, before forcing Farman to save at his feet.
For all their possession, Barrow offered little in attack to trouble Broome. They did launch a counter-attack when Saikou Janneh was down on the turf requiring treatment, but the ball ended up going over the crossbar. With half-time approaching, Ogundere was lucky to escape with just a tap-off and not a second yellow from the referee for a foul on White.
We edged forward as half-time approached and Barrow narrowly avoided conceding a second after a goalmouth scramble. In time, a combination of Farman, White and the upright Chislett prevented them from doubling the Dons lead.
It was so far, so good for the 186 Dons fans who showed such loyal support away from home, but Barrow responded in the second half and they were level on the hour. Canavan met the ball unchallenged to head home from a corner and there was worse to come from a Wimbledon perspective. With Jenkins off the field receiving treatment, our goal came under siege in the 74th minute and Gordon completed the turnaround for Barrow after we failed.
Alfie Bendle eventually replaced Jenkins in the wake of the goal and in the closing stages Johnnie Jackson made a double substitution with Quaine Bartley and Sam Pearson replacing Kasey McAteer and captain Alex Woodyard.
With minutes remaining, Obed Yeboah came on for his senior debut, replacing Janneh, but a late equalizer proved beyond Wimbledon and Barrow eventually claimed all three points.
AFC Wimbledon: Broome, Ogundere, Nightingale, Jenkins (Bendle), Currie, Woodyard, (Pearson), Marsh, McAteer (Bartley), Little, Chislett, Janneh (Yeboah).
Photos: Simon Davies (Pro Sports Images).