Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Dons turn it around for second away win of the season

Forss and Pigott bring festive cheer and three points

26 December 2019

Second half goals from Marcus Forss and captain Joe Pigott completed a spirited second half turnaround for only Wimbledon's second away win of the season.

The Dons moved five points clear of the drop zone and recorded only their second ever win at the Memorial Stadium with a 2-1 victory at Bristol Rovers, having fallen behind to a Jonson Clarke-Harris opener just before the break.

Glyn Hodges made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday's defeat at Tranmere. Skilful midfielder Jack Rudoni came in for his full League debut, with Mitch Pinnock reverting to the substitute's bench.

It was a quiet start to the game, in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd, with little to mention in terms of attacking moves on goal for the first quarter of an hour.

It took until the 17th minute for a shot on Nathan Trott's goal, which went wide from Tom Nichols after some decent possession and build-up play from the hosts. Although there was little of note for the first quarter of the game, Wimbledon did well to keep their shape.

Rovers did have the ball in the net in the 24th minute, but Liam Seacombe's goal was ruled out as Luke Leahy was judged to have fouled Shane McLoughlin in the build-up. Just after the half hour mark Clarke-Harris tested Trott with a swerving shot from distance.

Wimbledon then started to come into the game more, as first Max Sanders delivered a free-kick from the edge of the box and Callum Reilly tried to get a decent connection to the ball. Rovers captain Tony Craig was booked for a foul on Forss as he tried to get in on goal. Rudoni tested keeper Anssi Jaakkola with a cross with half-time looming.

However, Rovers took the lead from a debatable penalty awarded three minutes before the break. Clarke-Harris scored from the spot kick and it was a lead Bristol Rovers held at half-time.

Wimbledon made a bright start to the second half as Rudoni earned a corner, but the ball was soon down the other end as Nichols forced Trott to race out of his goal and clear.

However, Forss escaped the defensive shackles just after the hour mark and Jaakkola was forced to get down and make a save from a low-drilled shot. Jaakkola saved again from Luke O'Neill's downward header from the resulting corner.

With twenty minutes to go, Pigott led the charge and having battered his way through the defence with determination, the ball deflected out to Forss who made no mistake and finished from close range to level the scores.

Despite a booking for Rudoni with ten minutes to go, Wimbledon were back in the game and determined to get something from it for the 352 travelling fans. McLoughlin joined Rudoni in the referee's book two minutes later for obstruction.

With six minutes remaining the turnaround was complete. Wimbledon worked hard to get the ball into the box and Pigott bundled it over the line from close range for the lead. Pinnock replaced Forss with two minutes of added time left, but a young Wimbledon side held out for a deserved victory.

AFC Wimbledon: Trott O'Neill McDonald Thomas Rudoni Forss (Pinnock) McLoughlin Sanders Reilly Guinness-Walker Pigott.

Pic credit: Nigel Keene (Pro Sports Images).


Advertisement block