New Dons Signing Stars At Kingsmeadow Friendly

Wimbledon 2 v Arsenal XI 1

New Dons signing Andre Blackman created both goals against his old club as Wimbledon beat an Arsenal XI 2-1 at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (August 7).

Blackman was a schoolboy with the North London side before being released and becoming something of a football nomad. But on Saturday it was his skill in the box that tipped a previously even encounter in the Dons' favour.

First he dropped a shoulder and injected a sudden burst of pace to beat two Arsenal defenders and give himself enough space to fire in a low cross that gave Sam Moore a simple tap-in.

And minutes later he scored himself, spinning away from his marker and gaining a crucial foot of space before drilling a low shot into the far corner of the net.

Afterwards, Dons boss Terry Brown told the Surrey Comet that Blackman’s performance had been "a big plus".

"The boy can unlock defences and he has the quality in the final third to make all the difference," he said.

"People talk about his attitude but he hasn’t played first-team football anywhere in his life. He will here, and that will bring out the best in the boy."

It had been an evenly balanced encounter before Blackman’s intervention, with the Dons more than holding their own against an Arsenal side mainly made up of reservists and trialists.

The Dons defence suffered a few near misses early on, with the Brazilian Wellington Silva and Benik Afobe both missing golden opportunities for the visitors, before Oguzhan Ozyakup hit the bar with a header.

But the Dons had first-half chances of their own, with Ricky Wellard and Danny Kedwell both going close.

And, after Blackman worked his magic, it was the Dons who were on top until towards the end, when Seb Brown first acrobatically turned over a stinging volley and then, in the dying moments, failed to hold a shot and Afobe capitalised to net Arsenal’s consolation.

Wimbledon: S. Brown; Hatton, Harris (Franks), Johnson, Blackman (Jolley); S. Moore (Yussuff), Gregory, Wellard (Jones); L. Moore (Sam-Yorke), Kedwell, Main (Jackson).

Arsenal XI: Shea (Martinez); Hoyte, Cruise, Bartley (Boateng), Miquel, Ozyakup, Silva (Murphy), Aneke (Yennaris), Randall (Evina), Afobe, Miyauchi (Deacon).

Attendance: 2,922

• Wimbledon have signed ex-Fulham midfielder Reece Jones after a trial period. The Welsh U-17 international put pen to paper last week.

Rob Crane

August 8, 2010