Match Report


Sat 12 Jan 13

A Paul McCallum double was just not enough to maintain Wimbledon’s 100 per cent start to 2013.

In front a bumper 4,507 crowd, two goals from the on-loan West Ham striker appeared to have earned a first League 2 home win since October, but Wycombe substitute Matt McClure made it 2-2 with 20 minutes to go and that was the way it stayed.

It was a little harsh on the Dons as goalkeeper Neil Sullivan barely had a save to make and Wimbledon offered much more attacking thrust than their opponents.

Neal Ardley made just one change to the side which won at Rochdale last Saturday with Peter Sweeney coming straight in for his debut to replace Rashid Yussuff. As expected, Chris Hussey was made to wait for his first start back in a Wimbledon shirt and he had to settle for a place on the bench.

The Wimbledon boss had spoken during the week about his side’s determination to change their dismal home form, but it appeared to be a case of the same old story in the eighth minute when Wimbledon conceded an early goal yet again. Wimbledon were exposed down their left side by Dean Morgan, who crossed for Jo Kuffour and though he produced a fine turn and shot, there was an element of fortune about the goal as his strike took a wicked deflection off Will Antwi and bounced in off a post.

The Dons produced a spirited response though and this time they hit back with a quick equaliser, thanks to that man Paul McCallum in the 15th minute. It was a simple goal in its execution as Sweeney’s corner was headed on by Jack Midson and McCallum once again showed his poacher’s instinct to steer home emphatically from close range.

Wimbledon enjoyed the lion’s share of possession after the equaliser and they were so unlucky not to have completed a quick turnaround in the 25th minute. The Wimbledon support behind the North Stand thought they were celebrating a second when Luke Moore’s cross was met by McCallum with a superbly struck first time shot, but the ball bounced off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety with Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer well beaten. The Dons continued to take the game to Wycombe and they came so close yet again in the 37th minute. In a first-half when McCallum was everywhere and provided a constant menace to the Wycombe defence, the 19-year-old striker almost doubled his account out of nothing.  McCallum harried Wycombe defender Stuart Lewis into a short back pass from Curtis Osano’s long ball and after rounding Archer, he shot into the side netting.

However, the home faithful never had to wait too long for a second with McCallum helping himself to his second five minutes before the break.  There was still a lot to do for McCallum when Stacy Long picked him out in the box, but the striker produced a smart turn before finishing emphatically with a low left footed drive. The Dons could be well satisfied with their first-half efforts as they were full value for the half-time lead.

The moment Wimbledon supporters had been waiting for arrived at the start of the second-half as Chris Hussey entered the fray to make his first appearance since returning to the club in place of Curtis Osano. Shooting towards the Tempest End, Wimbledon continued the attacking momentum that was such a feature of their first-half display and McCallum almost put the match beyond Wycombe four minutes into the second-half. McCallum this time showed his prowess in the box by rising highest to meet a Jonathan Meades cross, but his header was superbly palmed away by Archer. Toby Ajala then produced one of his trademark runs down the right and set-up a shooting chance for Meades, but his shot was too close to Archer.

Despite barely threatening a goal since their opener, Wycombe drew level with a goal out of nothing in the 71st minute when the Dons only half cleared a cross and substitute Matt McClure fortuitously diverted the ball past Neil Sullivan. Neal Ardley immediately took action with Byron Harrison coming on as substitute to replace McCallum. Harrison almost made an immediate impression as he nodded down a Midson cross for Ajala, but the winger fired over the crossbar. Though the Dons never looked like winning it during the latter stages and this may be viewed as a missed opportunity, the draw at least maintained their unbeaten run this year.

AFC Wimbledon: Neil Sullivan, Curtis Osano (Chris Hussey), Jonathan Meades, Peter Sweeney, Will Antwi, Mat Mitchel-King, Toby Ajala, Stacy Long, Paul McCallum (Byron Harrison), Luke Moore, Jack Midson (Jason Prior).

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