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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

19 December 2023 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Five-star Wimbledon march through!

Stunning performance at Fratton Park

19 December 2023

A much-changed AFC Wimbledon showed the importance of strength in depth as we marched to a fantastic 5-2 win away at Portsmouth.

Five different goalscorers lit up the night as the Dons proved too strong for the Sky Bet League One leaders.

Aron Sasu lit the blue touch paper with his first senior goal before Josh Davison and Alex Pearce added further gloss before the break.

Harry Pell and Ali Al-Hamadi then put the icing on the cake as we marched into the round of 16 of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

We’ll now look ahead to the reward of a home clash with Oxford United in the new year.

Johnnie Jackson made numerous changes to the side which drew 0-0 in Sky Bet League Two at Salford City, with Nik Tzanev, Lee Brown, James Tilley, Pell, Davison, Pearce, James Ball, Charlie Lakin, Sasu and Isaac Ogundere all coming in.

This meant the likes of Alex Bass, Jack Currie, Josh Neufville, Omar Bugiel, Al-Hamadi, Jake Reeves and Huseyin Biler all dropped to the bench.

It was Wimbledon who fashioned the first half chance of the evening, with Pearce heading an out swinging corner over the crossbar in an initial warning shot.

We then didn’t have to wait too long for an opener, and it was all the goalscorer’s own work, with Sasu first winning the ball on the left-hand side before driving in-field, opening his body and finding the far corner.

It could’ve got even better for the Dons barely minutes later as Pompey gave the ball straight to Lakin just outside the area, however the midfielder could only manage to fire wide with goalkeeper Ryan Schofield rooted to the spot.

The hosts were playing with fire at the back and were duly punished not long after as we doubled our lead. This time Davison was slipped in behind, with the striker doing well to compose himself before firing home into the far corner.

It was then three as Pearce also got off the mark in a Wimbledon shirt, expertly smashing home a corner from the right after being left unmarked.

We weren’t resting on our laurels at three, with Tilley forcing Schofield into a full stretch save to prevent a fourth. We had to stay alert at the other end despite our advantage, as Brown slid a goal-bound effort off his own line.

The hosts did pull one back before the half-time break, with Kusini Yengi setting up a tantalising second-half.

That goal didn’t seem to faze Wimbledon however, with Pell adding his name to the scoresheet not long after the break, rocketing in a free-kick low and past the wall for four.

This rollercoaster of a game continued with Pompey getting their second goal of the night through Gavin Whyte’s low finish. It was end to end stuff as Davison came close to clocking up a brace as his shot was well held by Schofield.

Reeves was introduced off the bench as our first change as we shifted our shape to gain more control in the centre of the field. This was swiftly followed by the introduction of Al-Hamadi, Bugiel and Neufville as we also sought to increase our lead once more.

There was then another chance to put the game well and truly to bed as Neufville fired narrowly wide following fine work by his fellow substitute Bugiel.

The former wasn’t to be stopped the second time he got into the area, this time squaring for the waiting Al-Hamadi to tap home for five to cap off the night. 

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Lee Brown, Ryan Johnson, James Tilley (Jake Reeves), Harry Pell (Omar Bugiel), Josh Davison (Ali Al-Hamadi) (Huseyin Biler), Alex Pearce, James Ball, Charlie Lakin, Aron Sasu (Josh Neufville), Isaac Ogundere

Attendance: 7,922 (186 away)

PICS: Graham Hunt (Pro Sports Images)

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