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Match Reports

Porter the difference as Dons build towards season opener

Former Wimbledon winger scores the winner in pre-season defeat

24 July 2021

George Porter's first half goal was enough for Dartford to claim victory at Princes Park, as Head Coach Mark Robinson was given an indication of what areas require work on ahead of the League One season.

Former Wimbledon loanee Porter struck midway through the first half and that remained the difference between the two sides at the final whistle, in front of a crowd of 868.  

Two of our six new signings figured in the starting eleven - midfielder George Marsh and a second appearance for Aaron Pressley, partnering Ollie Palmer in attack. There was also the welcome return of Hungarian centre-back Dan Csoka, alongside Ben Heneghan, as he went on to complete 45 minutes. 

There were starts for two former Dons in the Dartford line-up - as well as Porter, new signing Ade Azeez figured up front. The game kicked off in overcast, cool conditions, as Wimbledon again went with a 4-2-2-2 formation.

Wimbledon settled first and created three opportunities after the opening ten minutes. Nesta Guinness-Walker and Ethan Chislett combined with an effort that came off the crossbar for a corner. George Marsh then curled a shot from outside the area that went wide of the goal and Ayoub Assal also found the framework, though it was ruled offside.

It was the hosts who struck first when Porter shot from outside the area and beat the outstretched Nik Tzanev in the 21st minute. Just before the half hour mark things became heated in the Dartford penalty area, as Assal and Palmer were involved in a goalmouth scramble.

Dartford recognised the threat posed by Assal (pictured), who'd become a marked man. Guinness-Walker came into the game more, supporting our attacking efforts. The first half tailed off though, lacking in intensity and with the National League South side going in with the advantage at the break.

Promising Academy centre-back Ethan Sutcliffe replaced Csoka at the start of the second half. It was Dartford who were quickest out of the blocks when Azeez showed a quick turn of foot and Tzanev blocked and put the ball behind. Dan Roberts then forced Heneghan and Tzanev into action, as Dartford put Wimbledon under more pressure.

On the hour mark, Assal was booked for dissent and minutes later replaced by Dylan Adjei-Hersey. With a quarter of the game left, Azeez was forced off with what seemed an injury and he was acknowledged by both sets of supporters.

Heneghan forced Dartford keeper King to make a save from a corner in the 75th minute, but in truth it hadn't been enough from the Dons.

With just under 15 minutes remaining, Mark Robinson made eight further changes as Wimbledon again finished a game with a youthful look about them. Shortly after, Tzanev was forced to make another save inside his area as Dartford kept up their pursuit of a second goal.

Though David Fisher shot wide near the end, Wimbledon were unable to find an equaliser on a disappointing afternoon.

AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Guinness-Walker (Matthews), Csoka (Sutcliffe), Heneghan (Currie), Alexander, (Ogundere), Marsh (Bolton), Woodyard (Frimpong), Assal (Adjei-Hersey), Chislett (Rudoni), Palmer (Bartley), Pressley (Fisher). 

Pic credit: Trevor Williams.


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