Wimbledon denied by resolute visitors
AFC Wimbledon failed to score for just the second time this season as Swindon ensured it was an afternoon of frustration for Neal Ardley’s men.
Lyle Taylor had a first-half penalty brilliantly saved by Swindon goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux and the visitors battled away for a 0-0 draw that at least extended Wimbledon’s unbeaten run to seven in all competitions.
Though struggling in the League One table, Swindon defended doggedly and their passing style made it tough for Wimbledon to exert sustained pressure.
Neal Ardley named an unchanged starting line-up after the brilliant win at Oxford and the Dons came out of the blocks quickly to test Swindon in the opening exchanges. Lyle Taylor found space for a shot just outside the area in the first minute, but his effort was well wide and then the Dons striker sent over a dangerous cross that Swindon keeper Lawrence Vigouroux did well to hold.
Following Wimbledon’s swift start, Swindon had a good spell of possession, which culminated with Ellis Landolo hooking a volley wide. At the other end, Taylor reacted sharply to reach a long throw-in, but his effort was wide again. The visitors continued to cause problems by spreading the ball around attractively, Wimbledon forced to defend deep in the first 20 minutes. However, when Landolo did create a shooting chance for Darnell Furlong, he blazed over the crossbar. Another lovely Swindon passing move ended with a shooting chance for John Goddard, but he tamely shot wide.
minute after Conor Thomas was adjudged to have brought Tom Elliott down in the box. Lyle Taylor stepped up and struck a powerful low effort that was directed towards the bottom corner, but Swindon goalkeeper Vigouroux reacted superbly to save at full stretch.ndAs we approached the half hour mark, Wimbledon had seen very little of the ball with Swindon dominating possession. However, Wimbledon had a great chance to open the scoring in the 32
Failure to convert from 12 yards was a big reprieve for Swindon and they threatened to rub salt into the wounds. First, Robinson had to react quickly to stop Nathan Delfouneso getting through and then the visitors teed up Yaser Kasim for a shot, but it was straight into the arms of Shea. Apart from with the penalty, Wimbledon had struggled to test Vigouroux in the first-half. Just before the break, Parrett met a cross from Fuller, but it was blocked and Robinson shot over after Jon Meades had flicked on the subsequent corner.
Wimbledon started the second-half in control, enjoying a sustained spell of possession, but finding a way through proved difficult. Parrett again had another goal-bound effort blocked, before a good ball from Jake Reeves sent the same player racing down the left wing, but his cross was held by the impressive Vigouroux. Swindon continued to pose a threat though at the other end. Barry Fuller did well to hold up a run by Delfouneso and then Kasim blazed a shot over the crossbar. Furlong also struck a fierce effort across the face of goal with no one there to apply the finish.
A surging run by Barry Fuller down the left got the Wimbledon crowd going just when it was needed midway through the second-half. However, with Swindon proving to be a tough nut to crack, Neal Ardley made a double change with 20 minutes remaining. Tyrone Barnett and Dominic Poleon were introduced up front with Tom Ellliott and Lyle Taylor making way. It was Swindon with a great chance to break the deadlock shortly afterwards though, Conor Thomas firing wide from just eight yards out.
Though Wimbledon pressed for a winner , there was no late reward on this occasion. Barnett had the ball in the back of the net after getting on the end of a cross from Meades, but it was correctly ruled out for offside. Next up, it's Bury away on Tuesday night when the Dons will be aiming to extend that unbeaten run to eight.
AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Paul Robinson, Darius Charles, Jon Meades, Dannie Bulman, Jake Reeves, Dean Parrett, Tom Elliott (Tyrone Barnett), Lyle Taylor (Dominic Poleon), Andy Barcham (Chris Whelpdale).
Picture credit: Stuart Butcher, Pro Sports Images.