Attacking talent in rampant form at York
The Dons earned a second away win in five days with a victory that paid tribute to the attacking talents of Wimbledon’s strikers.
Ade Azeez, Lyle Taylor (pictured) and substitute Tom Elliott all netted to earn a 3-1 win that was emphatic in the end.
Though the match failed to match the drama of the midweek victory in Lancashire, it was every bit as important as the Dons made it two wins in a row against a side struggling near the foot of League 2.
Neal Ardley made two changes from the side that started at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night. An injury to Bayo Akinfenwa meant that Ade Azeez was handed a starting role and Karleigh Osborne was preferred in central defence to Semi Ajayi. York had two familiar faces in their squad with Michael Collins starting and Dave Winfield on the bench, both players having had loan spells at Wimbledon in the last two seasons.
With York struggling for form and confidence, Wimbledon aimed to capitalise on that by attacking from the outset. Within the very first minute, the Dons had an opportunity when Jon Meades rose highest in the box to meet a corner from George Francomb, but his header bounced over the crossbar. Wimbledon forced a succession of early corners and Paul Robinson volleyed wide after pouncing on a loose ball.
Having scored four goals at Accrington, there was no shortage of confidence from Wimbledon in attack and Lyle Taylor volleyed over the bar, before Jake Reeves had an effort charged down. It was all Wimbledon in the early stages, anxiety among the York faithful starting to grow around the stadium as a consequence.
Given such early dominance, it was no surprise when Wimbledon took the lead. A lovely defence-splitting pass from the in-form Taylor put Azeez through on goal and though his initial shot was saved by York goalkeeper Scott Flinders, the ball rebounded off him and into the back of the net. Fortuitous it may have been, but there was no doubting the quality of Taylor’s ball and the run from Azeez. It was certainly a lead Wimbledon deserved and the visitors dealt comfortably with unimpressive attempts from York to equalise, a succession of long balls into the box only offering minimal threat in response.
The Dons suffered a blow inside 20 minutes when Sean Rigg had to go off injured, though there was a good replacement in reserve with Callum Kennedy stepping into the left-sided role. It meant there was no change to Wimbledon’s shape with Kennedy slotting in effectively in front of Jon Meades. Azeez threatened to make a difference once again when he latched onto another good ball from Taylor and struck a swerving drive from 20 yards that Flinders only grasped at the second attempt.
minute for York to finally threaten when a short corner was worked to Collins and he curled just wide of the far post, the home faithful having something to get excited about at last. However, York failed to build on that and Wimbledon ended the first half on the attack. Though another goal never really threatened to come before half-time, it had been a more than satisfactory first-half from Wimbledon and they certainly appeared capable of more.thIt took until the 40
Osborne and Paul Robinson had looked solid whenever York pressed, but Anthony Straker did manage to find space inside the area shortly after the restart, but his header sailed wide. At the other end, Wimbledon continued to cause problems with Taylor and Azeez offering a constant threat. Taylor blazed a shot well over the crossbar and Azeez came so close to getting on the end of a great through ball from Kennedy.
York snatched an equaliser that had not seemed likely at all on the hour. Wimbledon goalkeeper Ben Wilson, perhaps not helped by the sun, failed to gather a cross from the right and Vadaine Oliver hooked the ball into the net from an acute angle. York’s leveller on the hour finally got the home support behind their team, but Wimbledon refused to be rattled and Neal Ardley responded by sending on Tom Elliott for Azeez.
The equaliser stirred a good response from Wimbledon and the Dons travelling support were celebrating another goal just minutes later. Taylor showed great speed of thought once again to get behind York’s defence and he produced a clinical finish to make it 2-1.
Though York put pressure on, it was pretty desperate stuff and the Dons sealed it when Francomb put over a lovely cross that Elliott met with a superb diving header to reward the 362 Dons fans that made the trip.
There was still time for 17-year-old Christian Toonga to make his debut as he entered the fray for Taylor and he almost marked the occasion with a superb goal from long-range, but his shot was just saved by Flinders.
AFC Wimbledon: Ben Wilson, Barry Fuller, Dannie Bulman, Paul Robinson, George Francomb, Jake Reeves, Sean Rigg (Callum Kennedy), Jon Meades, Ade Azeez (Tom Elliott), Karleigh Osborne, Lyle Taylor (Christian Toonga).
Picture credit: Stuart Butcher, Pro Sports Images.