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Match Reports

Another tough day for the Dons

One goal was enough for Cambridge

26 March 2022

AFC Wimbledon were comfortably beaten at the Cherry Red Records Stadium as Cambridge United emerged as the 1-0 victors.

A second-half strike from Adam May was all that was needed for the visitors to claim a deserved three points in a game when they did very little themselves to get the victory.

The men in yellow and blue never really recovered from the early setback in the second 45 minutes and in the end any attacking openings that were fostered by the Dons lacked the quality required to get us back on level terms.

Cambridge defended doggedly but in truth our players will know that the standards need to be raised in future games if we are to preserve our third-tier status.

We were by and large simply not at the level that we are capable of and with games running out the sense of urgency is increasing as the Dons were unable to capitalise on facing an out of form opponent.

Mark Robinson made three changes to the side which lost to Cheltenham Town a week ago with recent signing Derick Osei Yaw joining the likes of Lee Brown and Paul Osew in the starting 11. This meant that Ayoub Assal, Dapo Mebude and Nesta Guinness-Walker dropped to the bench.

The presence of Brown facilitated a switch to a back three in defence, with Henry Lawrence and Osew as the advanced wing backs, whilst up top Osei Yaw partnered Sam Cosgrove.

On a day when various heritage murals were unveiled to celebrate our history and club legends were paraded to a sell-out crowd before kick-off, there was a sense that this could be a pivotal day in Wimbledon’s season.

The opening half an hour was particularly cagey, but the Dons did fashion their first notable effort when Lawrence strode forward before unleashing a low skimming effort that Dimitar Mitov had to hold at the second attempt.

Osei Yaw certainly showed some good touches on his home debut and continued to link up well with Cosgrove when the opportunities arose.

All in all, the two sides largely cancelled each other out, meaning that it was all to play for as the 22 men trooped off down the tunnel for half-time.

The second-half had barely got started when Cambridge took the lead. A ball was laid back into the path of May, who was given far too much time to take aim from distance and as a result he arrowed in a curling shot that Nik Tzanev should arguably have dealt with better.

It was certainly a goal that knocked some of the stuffing out of Wimbledon, but we did manage to dig out a chance not long after when Cosgrove fired over after turning well in the box.

Nevertheless, the U’s came back at us, with Ben Heneghan being forced to hack the ball clear on the line to prevent the visitors from doubling their lead.

Many will have hoped that the clearance could be a turning point, but Wimbledon quite simply never got out of first gear and deservedly found themselves on the losing side once again.

With the games slowly ticking away, a rapid change in results is needed if we are to maintain our League One status for another season, with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday next up on the horizon.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Henry Lawrence, Alex Woodyard, Will Nightingale, Anthony Hartigan, Sam Cosgrove (Ethan Chislett), Jack Rudoni (Dapo Mebude), Ben Heneghan, Paul Osew (Nesta Guinness-Walker), Derick Osei Yaw (Ayoub Assal), Lee Brown.

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