AFC Wimbledon left it late to beat Watford in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Cody McDonald’s debut brace was cancelled out by Hornets duo Ben Watson and Steven Berghuis, before Alfie Egan popped up with an 88th-minute winner.

Here are five things we learned…

Cody McDonald has still got it

The 31-year-old is a welcomed addition with Kwesi Appiah at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, providing a much-needed output for Wimbledon up front. Even with a 60 minute cameo, McDonald showed the instinctive and clinical awareness that brought him to the club in the first place.

The ex-Gillingham striker tested defender Sebastian Prodl at times with his movement on the last line of Watford’s defence and, although he was denied at times, he gave the Austrian something to think about.

The sample size is far too small, but against Premier League opposition this is always encouraging.

Team is taking to new ideas

Again, 90 minutes is hardly enough to take anything from, even if Eastleigh did go ahead. But it was clear that Neal Ardley has designed a plan that the team is beginning to take to.

For periods of the first half, Wimbledon played with three in midfield and full backs advancing high up the pitch to give Lyle Taylor and Andy Barcham opportunities to roam inside.

Although Ardley’s men were pressed defensively, it was the technical element of the plan that looked encouraging. Particularly when combinations in the midfield led to a defence-cutting through ball into Taylor, who unfortunately could not convert.

Long’s performance instilled confidence

The arrival of George Long from Sheffield United filled a critical gap for Ardley left by James Shea, who departed for Luton Town.

Long’s several stops in the first half to help keep the score goalless proved that he was rather unfortunate not to get as much game time last season at Bramall Lane.

It was never really doubted that the shot-stopper could be a valuable addition, but his showing further provided belief for fans that he can be a valuable signing.

Egan looks promising, but another midfielder is needed

Jimmy Abdou joining the club on loan for the rest of the season is a major positive for Wimbledon and Egan could not have wished for a better way to kick-off his pre-season.

But it was evident that another man in central midfield is required to feel completely comfortable.

For one, quality of depth at the position could be the difference in this season’s fortunes. Possibly between a comfortable mid-table finish and potential relegation. A lot is expected from Egan, however, another experienced player should not overcrowd the middle of the park.

Oshilaja will be key

Another impressive performer was Deji Oshilaja, who comes in following his release from Championship side Cardiff City.

The 24-year-old made important interceptions to prevent opposition forward Stefano Okaka from having clear opportunities on goal and occasionally got forward to initiate attacks.

His versatility in playing centre back, as well as either full back positions, is a rare trait for clubs at this level. Especially when teams are stretched for personnel due to unavailability.