Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Dons still fighting for survival after battling draw

Jack Rudoni had given us the lead with a first-half header

18 April 2022

AFC Wimbledon had to settle for a point today that just about keeps our survival hopes alive.

Mark Bowen’s side gave everything they had as they sought to pick up a vital victory in the battle to stay up, but a combination of our draw and results elsewhere gave us hope for at least another week. 

After Jack Rudoni's early goal, we dug in to close in on victory, before Adebayo Akinfenwa headed home unmarked at the far post to crush our hopes of a welcome three points.

Once again, our efforts weren’t rewarded with the return of points that we have desired for so long and as a result this will have to be viewed as another opportunity missed in this relegation dogfight.

Two games now remain of this rollercoaster season, with our upcoming clashes against Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley giving us a slim hope of staying up after results elsewhere today.

Bowen made two changes to the side which lost out at Crewe Alexandra on Good Friday as George Marsh and Paul Kalambayi were brought into the defence in place of Henry Lawrence and Nesta Guinness-Walker.

Meanwhile, Dylan Adjei-Hersey was named on the bench for the first time in his professional career.

On a day when Darius Charles was given a guard of honour by both sides following his recent retirement, Wimbledon were all too aware that only a win would realistically do.

With that in the back of their minds the Dons started brightly and quickly created the first chance of the game as a pinpoint cross from Marsh was headed wide by Ben Heneghan.

Nevertheless, we wouldn’t have to wait long for the deadlock to be broken and it happened just a few minutes later. Ayoub Assal did brilliantly to break in down the left before squaring the ball back for Alex Woodyard, whose shot was directed into the net by Rudoni’s head.

It was a trademark header that we have become accustomed to seeing from our number 12 and it really helped to spur our loyal followers at the Cherry Red Records Stadium into life.

Lee Brown was next to threaten as he was found on the near side in the area, but sadly his cutback to Rudoni led to the midfielder’s shot being blocked.

Wycombe’s best route to goal in the first half appeared to be through the use of set pieces, however we defended resolutely and largely kept them at bay.

Half time came and went, and it was a case of more of the same for the Dons as the second half got underway.

The visitors did however have the opening chance of the second 45 minutes, with Akinfenwa seeing his close-range header smack the woodwork.

It was a warning sign that we certainly had to heed as we approached what was sure to be a decisive final 20 minutes of the game.

As the game continued to be determined by one goal, Bowen threw on the likes of Ethan Chislett and Derick Osei Yaw, with the latter being the next to go close as his header whistled over the bar.

However, it was the Chairboys who were to strike the next blow in this game, and it was Akinfenwa who had to have his name in the headlines as he stole in at the back post to head home.

Wycombe’s tails were up, and it was Sullay Kaikai who was next to go close for them, with his effort from distance being well matched by a flying save from Nik Tzanev.

Both sides gave it absolutely everything to find a winner in the dying minutes of the game, but the ball just wouldn’t fall for the Dons who had to settle for a point that does us no real favours.

We now face Fleetwood Town in a must win game on Saturday, with only a maximum return of points being enough to keep us in with a shout of maintaining our League One status.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Alex Woodyard (Henry Lawrence), Will Nightingale, George Marsh, Sam Cosgrove (Derick Osei Yaw), Ayoub Assal, Jack Rudoni, Luke McCormick (Ethan Chislett), Ben Heneghan, Paul Kalambayi, Lee Brown.


Advertisement block