AFC Wimbledon 4 Horley Town 1
Byron Harrison scored his first goal for two months tonight to help Wimbledon finally finish off a brave challenge from Horley Town.
Wimbledon's top goalscorer, who had not scored since the win at York City in November after a spell out injured, put the Dons back in front in the 65th minute after Combined Counties Premier side Horley had threatened to cause an upset.
Neal Ardley’s men made hard work of beating a side five divisions below them in the league pyramid, but three goals in the last 25 minutes eventually earned a 4-1 Surrey Senior Cup third round win for the Dons.
The final goal provided a moment to savour for substitute Chace Jacquart (pictured), who scored his first goal for the first-team after stepping up from Wimbledon Under-18s.
Though it was far from vintage stuff from Wimbledon, it was very much a worthwhile exercise as several first-teamers including Sammy Moore, Pim Balkestein, Chris Hussey and Harrison edged closer to full fitness.
With the Dons fielding a particularly strong side for a Surrey Senior Cup tie, it was therefore no surprise that they had early chances to open their account on the night.
Jason Prior, partnering Byron Harrison up front, was inches away from netting his first Wimbledon goal since joining Wimbledon a year ago when he just failed to get his head to Brendan Kiernan’s cross. Then Harrison’s pass provided a presentable shooting chance for Ryan Hervel, but he fired over the crossbar from just inside the area. Brendan Kiernan, who was particularly bright in the opening exchanges, then fired just wide after more good approach play from Harrison.
club appearance, the rest of his team-mates were also intent on making it a memorable match. Ashley Nadesen twice came close for Horley in the first 20 minutes, most notably with a header which Seb Brown was grateful to watch go wide.thIt was far from one-way traffic though in the first half hour with Horley Town – five divisions below Wimbledon – rising to the occasion at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. In what was a landmark match for Horley defender Anthony Jupp as he made his 500
minute when Harrison was first foiled by Horley goalkeeper Ian Chatfield and then Hervel’s follow-up was blocked. However, there was a lack of fluency in Wimbledon’s first-half play and they failed to create the amount of chances one would expect considering the gap in class between the two teams.rdThe Dons came close to the opener in the 33
After a slow start to the second-half, the match exploded into life 10 minutes after the break when the Dons opened the scoring, though they did need a big helping hand from Horley. In what was a catastrophe for the visitors, Chris Weller headed Chris Hussey’s cross towards the goal and Chatfield could only divert the ball into his own net. However, if the Dons support among the 326-strong crowd thought that would open the floodgates then they were mistaken as the lead lasted less than two minutes. There was perhaps an element of Wimbledon returning the favour as Seb Brown failed to hold a Danny Guscott shot and Dave Brown tapped into the empty net to draw Horley level.
It was a surprise equaliser that at least produced a stirring response from Wimbledon and Harrison confidently rounded Chatfield, but frustratingly had both of his efforts cleared off the line by Guscott. There was no denying Harrison 25 minutes from time though when he put the Dons 2-1 up after he appeared to have missed his chance. The striker’s reluctance to shoot after beating three or four challenges seemed to be a mistake, but Harrison had other ideas and he produced a smart turn before squeezing the ball inside the far post. Yet again though, Horley came close to hitting back when substitute Karl Parker burst through, but Seb Brown made amends for his earlier error by getting down low to save.
Wimbledon finally ended the match as a contest six minutes from time when Kieran Djilali turned inside smartly and beat Chatfield emphatically to score a fine individual goal. There was more to come from the hosts and still time for a special moment for substitute Chace Jacquart. The diminutive midfielder, who is a regular for Wimbledon’s Under-18s, netted the fourth from close range after good work from Djilali and Kiernan.
AFC Wimbledon: Seb Brown, Jim Fenlon, Chris Hussey (Emmanuel Akiotu), Sammy Moore (Chace Jacquart), Dan Sweeney, Pim Balkestein, Brendan Kiernan, Ryan Hervel, Jason Prior, Byron Harrison (Khan Williams-Mitchell), Kieran Djilali.