By Christian Poulsen
Jon Meades took a vital step towards a first-team return by playing for an hour tonight in a draw for our development squad against Milton Keynes.
The left-back (pictured), provided a solid presence at left-back in his first match this season, as Wimbledon drew 1-1 in a Central League South East match at Brackley Town FC.
Wimbledon marched into the lead inside a minute through Anthony Hartigan. Alfie Egan's alertness set-up the goal as he quickly flicked on Milton Keynes goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma's clearance into the path of Hartigan, who sent the ball into the back of the net from inside the box with the minimum of fuss.
Though Milton Keynes came into the game, they struggled to break down a well-drilled Wimbledon defence with full-backs Dons Meades and Sibbick denying the opposition on several occasions. In the 34th minute, Sibbick broke up a dangerous looking attack by the opposition inside the box. Shortly afterwards, Meades won a duel on the opposite side of the pitch, and powered forward to find Hartigan in space and a good move ended with a cross from Ethan Nelson-Roberts just cut out.
In the last minute of the first-half, Egan intercepted the ball high up the pitch and took on the defence. A free-kick was awarded for the Dons just outside the box. Hartigan took the free-kick, but it was blocked by the wall.
The second-half started with high pressure from the opposition, and they forced a corner in the 50th minute. Secure hands from Dons keeper Nik Tzanev erased the threat. Tzanev then became busier and he pulled off a cracking save to deny Milton Keynes in the 53rd minute.
Wimbledon had an opportunity to double the advantage before the hour mark. A great run down the right by Sibbick ended with a fine pass to Egan, who had his shot well saved. Meades departed the action after featuring for 60 minutes and he was replaced by Archie Proctor.
In the last 25 minutes, Wimbledon came under pressure, and Tzanev made a string of fine saves to deny Milton Keynes. With 18 minutes left, Wimbledon just managed to deflect a shot from Brandon Thomas-Asante wide, but there was no reprieve three minutes later. Sam Nombe picked up a loose ball in the box, and struck from a tight angle with Tzanev finally beaten on the night.
AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Sibbick, Meades (Proctor), Urhoghide, Kalambayi, Perana, Pingling, Hartigan, Antwi (Evans), Egan, Nelson-Roberts.