AFC Wimbledon had to settle for a point today after Joe Pigott had given us the lead in Buckinghamshire.
Pigott struck in just the ninth minute with a well-taken goal, but it was cancelled out less than four minutes later with Scott Fraser scoring for Milton Keynes Dons, and the match ended 1-1. Wimbledon came closest to winning it in the second-half when Steve Seddon's header was brilliantly saved by Andrew Fisher. The draw at least extends Wimbledon's fine record on the road with just one defeat in the league this season.
Glyn Hodges made three changes to his starting line-up after the midweek victory against Blackpool. One of those was enforced with Luke O’Neill missing out due to an ankle injury and he was replaced by Paul Kalambayi. Jack Rudoni came back into the starting line-up for Ryan Longman and Alex Woodyard was restored to the midfield with Ethan Chislett joining Longman on the bench.
After an opening spell of minimal incident, the game burst into life in the ninth minute when Wimbledon opened the scoring in style. A lovely clipped through ball by Dan Csoka picked out Joe Pigott, who had shown good movement to get in behind and stay onside. There was still plenty of work to do, but Pigott showed good control under pressure to round Andrew Fisher and strike into the empty net.
The lead lasted less than four minutes as Cameron Jerome found space down the Wimbledon right and crossed to find Scott Fraser, who finished clinically from close-range. That was a real setback for the visitors as it came so soon after taking the lead, but a really good response followed. Shane McLoughlin, who has been in rampant form recently down the right side, did superbly to whip in a cross from the right that Pigott almost reached. From the subsequent corner, Callum Reilly picked out Alex Woodyard and his shot was deflected just over the crossbar.
Wimbledon came so close to taking the lead midway through the first-half with the combination of McLoughlin and Pigott almost earning another goal. The Irishman powered down the right and got in a cross that Pigott reached first, but his shot flashed into the side netting. In fairness, the angle was a bit against Pigott and it was another moment of real promise in attack for Wimbledon. Dan Csoka also headed over the crossbar in a really good spell for Wimbledon.
With nine minutes until half-time, the hosts had a penalty appeal turned down. Matthew Sorinola broke down the left flank and appealed vociferously after a challenge by McLoughlin, but the referee was having none of it and it appeared that he had ran the ball too far. The half ended with the score at 1-1 and Wimbledon could take plenty of encouragement from it after showing real promise in attack during the first 45 minutes.
The second-half started with Wimbledon attempting to take a grip on the match again and the lead was almost restored 10 minutes in through Steve Seddon. Joe Pigott found him with a lovely cross and the attacking full-back met the ball well with a good header, but Milton Keynes keeper Andrew Fisher did very well to tip it around the post. A fine Dons move then ended with a smart back-heel by Csoka to find Rudoni, who was fouled just outside the area on the right, but Anthony Hartigan’s free-kick was blocked. Pigott also has a well struck shot from inside the area saved by Fisher after more good play down the right by McLoughlin.
With 20 minutes to play, the hosts had their first chance since the goal when Sorinola got in behind on the left, but he dragged his shot wide. Glyn Hodges made his first change shortly after that with Ethan Chislett replacing Jack Rudoni. Neither side really threatened to win it in the latter stages, as Wimbledon defended well by keeping a good shape to make it five points from the last nine available, ahead of our Plough Lane return.
AFC Wimbledon: Connal Trueman, Dan Csoka, Alex Woodyard, Terell Thomas, Anthony Hartigan, Jack Rudoni (Ethan Chislett), Shane McLoughlin, Paul Kalambayi, Callum Reilly, Joe Pigott, Steve Seddon.