Steve Seddon wasted no time making his mark in a Dons shirt again as he fired home superbly to secure Wimbledon’s first league victory of the season.
In a match when the Dons defended resiliently throughout, Seddon provided the cutting edge to help Wimbledon to a hard-earned 1-0 victory against a side that reached the League One play-offs last season. Latching onto a Joe Pigott pass, left-back Seddon showed the scoring instinct that made him such a favourite in his first loan spell with us.
Glyn Hodges made two changes to the side that started our last league game versus Plymouth. Steve Seddon was handed an immediate chance to make an impression after signing on Thursday, as he replaced Nesta Guinness-Walker, and Jaakko Oksanen made his first league start in place of Ethan Chislett. The Dons were aiming to secure maximum points in the league for the first time this season, at the third time of asking. Our last two visits here had been close affairs. That dramatic 3-2 FA Cup win for the Dons in January 2019 followed up by a 2-1 defeat in August last year.
Steve Seddon was straight into the thick of the action and he found space for a shot, but his effort was blocked. Almost immediately, a swift Fleetwood break ended with a powerful drive by Callum Camps, but Connal Trueman did well to get down to his right and save. That was the only chance in the first 20 minutes as the two sides fought for midfield supremacy. Fleetwood forced several corners in the first quarter of the match, but Wimbledon dealt with set pieces well, in stark contrast to the vulnerability shown against Plymouth.
Josh Morris was very lively in attack for Fleetwood in the first-half, but Terell Thomas showed he was up to the challenge of nullifying him when he darted out to the left flank to stop him going through on goal. The Dons had shown resilience to stop Fleetwood's attacking instincts from earning reward and Wimbledon really came into the game in the latter stages of the first-half. A lovely Wimbledon move ended with Oksanen and Longman combining to set-up Alex Woodyard, but his shot was deflected and keeper Alex Cairns saved comfortably. Shane McLoughlin also delivered a fine ball from the right across goal, but no one was able to reach it.
There was nothing Fleetwood could do though to stop a well-worked Wimbledon goal in the 41st minute. A fine move down the left ended with Joe Pigott picking out Seddon in the box and he produced a superb low finish to leave Cairns with no chance. The half-time whistle shrilled with Wimbledon still 1-0 up, defensive resilience having been combined with a cutting edge in attack.
The hosts made a key change at the break with new signing Barrie McKay, on loan from Swansea, entering the fray. Fleetwood started the second-half with a determination to exert pressure on Wimbledon and Danny Andrew struck a shot that hit the top of the crossbar. The Dons defence was really starting to get tested, but our back-line remained defiant and Oksanen was enjoying a fine game in the midfield holding role.
Connal Trueman was in commanding form whenever he was required, the on-loan Birmingham keeper taking crosses with real composure, and he was required to make a brilliant save just after the hour to deny Callum Camps. The Dons came so close to doubling the advantage in the 68th minute. First, Longman was sent clean through by Terell Thomas, but Cairns saved, and the Fleetwood keeper made an even better stop to prevent Pigott's bullet header from finding the net.
The Dons had to defend doggedly to maintain the slender lead with Fleetwood pressing forward in numbers. Seddon was required to defend deeper in his left wing-back role and he certainly played his part as Wimbledon were forced back. Oksanen showed real tenacity in midfield to help protect the lead and the final whistle signalled a job well done by Wimbledon. It had been an impressive away display to nullify one of the promotion favourites and it was a fully deserved victory.
AFC Wimbledon: Connal Trueman, Luke O'Neill, Alex Woodyard, Terell Thomas, Jaakko Oksanen (Anthony Hartigan) Shane McLoughlin, Ryan Longman (Adam Roscrow), Paul Kalambayi, Callum Reilly, Joe Pigott, Steve Seddon.