Late superiority fails to earn reward for the Dons
Wimbledon’s late domination of possession and chances came too late to save them from a surprise defeat at the hands of Conference South outfit Havant & Waterlooville tonight.
minute strike was enough to earn a 1-0 victory for the hosts.nd The Dons squandered a host of chances in the second-half and Bradley Bubb’s 52
All that was lacking was the finishing touch in the final reckoning with Ade Azeez (pictured) coming close on several occasions. The performances of Wimbledon's young players on the night also offered encouragement with 17-year-old Ryan Sweeney, in particular, impressing at the back.
and trialist Ferdinand Takyi as Neal Ardley decided to save Bayo Akinfenwa and Matt Tubbs for tomorrow at Aldershot. With Wimbledon also having a game at Aldershot tomorrow, Neal Ardley decided to start with a mix of first-teamers, trialists and youth team players at Westleigh Park. There were a couple of familiar faces in opposition with Ed Harris and Warren Cummings both starting for Havant & Waterlooville. They had to deal with a Dons centre-forward pairing of Ade Azeez
minute when Chris Arthur almost scored against his former club. Arthur produced a speedy run down the left, before letting fly with a powerful drive that Havant goalkeeper Ryan Young tipped over. The Dons enjoyed plenty of possession in the first 30 minutes, though they failed to test Young again during that first third of the match.thWimbledon made a promising start and they created the best chance so far in the 18
Having made it through the first half hour unscathed, Havant started to come into it and Bradley Bubb struck a shot from an acute angle that had Dons goalkeeper James Shea scrambling to his right, but the ball just flashed wide. Then Shea was forced to make a save when he got down well to tip an effort wide from Nic Ciardini. Wimbledon then needed Mark Phillips to make a fine interception to stop Bubb opening the scoring.
As the first-half came to a close, Wimbledon threatened to break the deadlock when a superb cross from the left from Callum Kennedy picked out Azeez, but he just failed to get enough on his header.
minute. A defensive lapse from Mark Phillips allowed Bradley Bubb through on goal and the striker finished in clinical fashion.ndHavant made a bright start to the second-half and they were rewarded with the opening goal in the 52
The Dons had a great chance to restore parity almost immediately when George Francomb found space and picked out Azeez, but his shot was too close to Young.
Chace Jacquart’s introduction coincided with Wimbledon’s best spell of the match so far as he almost created the equaliser. The young midfielder put through a sublime defence-splitting pass that picked out Azeez, who struck his shot well but it was palmed away by Young. Then Arthur, who impressed against his former club, produced a teasing delivery that Francomb met with a header that flashed just over the bar.
With 10 minutes to go, Wimbledon were storming forward in search of an equaliser and they so nearly got it after a brilliant cross from Kennedy picked out Azeez just a few yards out, but he headed over the bar.
There had been nothing wrong with Wimbledon’s general play in the second-half as they put together some lovely moves, without finding the killer touch. Though the match ended with a sense of frustration, if Wimbledon create as many chances at Aldershot tomorrow then they could well end pre-season with a victory. Neal Ardley made another change eight minutes from time and it was another opportunity for a youngster with 17-year-old Egli Kaja replacing Jake Nicholson.
AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, George Pilbeam (Tom Beere), Callum Kennedy, Mark Phillips, Dannie Bulman, Jake Nicholson (Egli Kaja), George Francomb, Ryan Sweeney, Chris Arthur, Ade Azeez, Ferdinand Takyi (Chace Jacquart).