BY DANIEL MARSH
Wally Downes was satisfied with another testing fixture as AFC Wimbledon went down fighting to Bristol City.
The Dons welcomed opposition from the Championship to KT1 for the second time this week following on from Friday’s defeat to Brentford, narrowly being edged out 3-2 by the Robins on Tuesday evening.
It was a tough start with the visitors initially showing their class. City started brightly and had opened up a three-goal lead by the 50thminute. But the hosts produced a stirring fightback, with another mass personnel change on the hour mark setting the stage for newbie Adam Roscrow and returning loanee Michael Folivi to net second-half penalties to push the Robins all the way.
“We’ve come out injury free,” Downes told the South London Press.
“We got in their box a couple of times and caused some problems late on. We got the run-around a little bit in the first half, but we’ve done no structural play yet. I just said to the boys go out and play, get through the game and use it as a training session which we did.”
The standard of opposition over the last two games has been high, with both Brentford and Bristol City expected to challenge for promotion from the Championship this season.
Downes spoke of how playing against players of that quality in pre-season will benefit individual players, even if not perhaps the actual team in the countdown to August 3.
“What they can get from it is nothing really from our team point of view,” said the Wimbledon manager. “But just playing against players who play in the Championship on a regular basis [will be a benefit]. Seeing how quickly they move their feet, how quickly their minds can work and how quickly we have to adapt to it.”
“We’ve proved that we can do it on occasions, but games like this it’s sometimes a little shock to your system. It makes them realise that they’ve got to be right on the top of their game if they want to progress their careers.”
PICTURES BY PAUL EDWARDS