First away league defeat on the road since opening day
AFC Wimbledon’s long unbeaten away league run came to an end at Milton Keynes this afternoon with a penalty from Dean Bowditch winning it for the hosts.
Wimbledon struggled to get going from the start in a match with few chances and the second-half spot-kick earned a 1-0 victory for Milton Keynes.
It brought to an end a proud away run that had lasted since the opening day of the season at Walsall.
Neal Ardley made one change to the Wimbledon side that started in the FA Cup tie at Curzon Ashton last week. George Francomb was recalled with Lyle Taylor, who was doubtful ahead of the game, having to settle for a place on the bench. In the early stages, Wimbledon struggled to get the front pairing of Tom Elliott and Dominic Poleon involved with Milton Keynes starting the better. James Shea had to stay alert to hold a shot from Ed Upson as the hosts came out of the blocks quickly.
In a first 20 minutes when Wimbledon struggled to get any grip on possession, the only hint of a chance came when Jon Meades and Jake Reeves combined well, but the latter’s cross just eluded everyone in the box. That failed to change the flow of the game as Wimbledon defended deep. A good chance followed for Milton Keynes as Upson again found space and his shot fell nicely for Ben Reeves, but his shot was deflected just wide.
Though Wimbledon’s defence had restricted Milton Keynes to very little in the way of clear-cut chances, Shea had to hold another long-range effort from Upson. Shea then showed his confidence by gathering a dangerous cross as the hosts continued to show plenty of attacking threat. Chris Robertson and Paul Robinson had formed a solid base at the heart of defence to keep Milton Keynes at bay.
Wimbledon did start to put a decent spell of possession together around the half hour mark and Jake Reeves had a presentable shooting opportunity after a corner was not fully cleared, but he shot well over the crossbar. Elliott and Poleon were struggling to find any space down the channels or in behind as Wimbledon struggled to find the attacking fluency that had been such an impressive feature of this season so far. As we approached half-time, at least Wimbledon had started to dominate possession with attacks from the hosts now few and far between. Overall, as the half-time whistle sounded, it had hardly been a game to set the pulses racing.
Wimbledon were fortunate not to fall behind a couple of minutes into the second-half. George Baldock put over a teasing cross that found Dean Bowditch in space in the box, but he headed wide from close-range. With Dannie Bulman’s energy in midfield establishing decent possession in the second-half, Wimbledon had the platform for more attacks in the second-half. However, with no chances resulting for Wimbledon, Neal Ardley made two changes just before the hour. Lyle Taylor and Chris Whelpdale were introduced with Dominic Poleon and Dean Parrett the men to make way.
minute after referee Geoff Eltringham adjudged that Dean Lewington had been fouled in the area by Barry Fuller and Dean Bowditch scored from 12 yards. Neal Ardley made another change in response with Tyrone Barnett coming on for Elliott. Wimbledon managed to fashion a half chance when Francomb swung in a dangerous cross, but Taylor’s flick at the near post flashed wide.rdMilton Keynes took the lead in the 63
Despite plenty of possession, Wimbledon struggled to create clear-cut chances and the referee’s overly fussy approach in stopping play at the merest hint of a foul certainly didn’t help. Wimbledon almost equalised in fortuitous fashion when a long throw-in from Whelpdale caused problems and a combination of Meades and Daniel Powell diverted the ball towards goal, but Milton Keynes keeper David Martin saved.
During six minutes of injury-time, Wimbledon piled forward, but an equaliser just wouldn’t come and the Dons will be aiming to get back on track at home to Port Vale next Saturday.
AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Jon Meades, Dannie Bulman, Paul Robinson, George Francomb, Jake Reeves, Tom Elliott (Tyrone Barnett), Dominic Poleon (Lyle Taylor), Dean Parrett (Chris Whelpdale), Chris Robertson.