AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson hailed Morgan Williams’ performance in Wednesday night’s EFL Cup second round 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.
The midfielder, 18, was handed his first professional start at Stamford Bridge.
His only senior appearance before taking on the Blues came as a late substitute in last season’s final day 1-0 defeat at Grimsby Town.
Williams came through the club’s academy and had a short loan spell at National League South side Eastbourne Borough towards the end of last season.
He completed 70 per cent of his passes – the second highest of any Wimbledon player who started the match – and made two blocks and completed two clearances.
Williams did not lose possession once during the 90 minutes.
“The kid was outstanding,” said Jackson. “It’s a credit to himself and his family and the club for developing him. He’s been in and out – he hasn’t had that much of an opportunity this season.
“But he did enough during pre-season that, when we lost a couple of lads on the weekend, I had the confidence to start him here.
“What a place to make your full debut. The professionals that signed this year – Aron Sasu, Paris Lock and Morgan Williams – have all had opportunities, They have had them because they deserve it. They have forced my hand and they’re very much a part of what we want to do.”
Chelsea were forced to bring on Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez and Nicolas Jackson in the second half in order to book their place in the third round.
“You’re bringing two £100million-plus players on the pitch,” said Jackson. “That’s a credit to us and how we made them approach the game. In the last 10 to 15 minutes, we were pressing and had our moments. We weren’t taking the defeat on the chin.”
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