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Match Reports

Dons defeated by clinical Argyle

Wimbledon punished for missed chances

8 March 2022

AFC Wimbledon suffered a demoralising 2-0 defeat at Plymouth - but then dramatically escaped dropping into the bottom four when Bolton scored a 94th minute equaliser against Morecambe!

Our 17th consecutive game without a win looked certain to send us into the drop zone for the first time this season.

But that late, late Bolton goal kept us in 20th position - one point ahead of Morecambe and level on 33 points with Fleetwood.

With fellow strugglers Lincoln (who also lost) coming to Plough Lane on Saturday, there are still plenty of opportunities to put this game behind us and regain the initiative.

That was scant consolation tonight though for Head Coach Mark Robinson and his team, especially after they had started brightly and even seen Sam Cosgrove send an early header crashing against the left hand post.

Robbo made two changes to the team which lost 1-0 to Wigan Athletic last weekend as Cheye Alexander and Dan Csoka came into the defence in place of Paul Osew and Paul Kalambayi.

It was a bright start for Wimbledon who stroked the ball around the pitch like a team that was brimming with confidence despite their recent run of results.

And it was an attitude to the opening stages that would bring about the Dons’ first meaningful effort of the evening. Luke McCormick did well to hold up the play before slotting Lee Brown in down the left, with the full back’s resulting cross being headed against the post by Cosgrove with Plymouth keeper Cooper left stranded.

Argyle then began to come more into the game, meaning that Wimbledon had to, at times, defend resolutely in order for no balls to breach the backline.

However, we found ourselves being undone when a slick through ball found Hardie for the hosts, who was left with the simplest of tasks as he dispatched home past Nik Tzanev.

It was a tough blow to take for the Dons who had certainly started well under the floodlights at a boisterous Home Park.

A response was needed as the two sides headed in at the break, with Robbo’s boys still in with a great shout of getting something from the game.

The first attempt to turn the match in our favour came as soon as the teams emerged from the dressing rooms, Kalambayi coming on in place of Jack Rudoni as the Dons once again switched to a back three.

It began to do the trick for Wimbledon as an opening was fashioned just short of the hour mark. Cosgrove was again the beneficiary as he bulldozed his way through before firing a powerful effort in that Cooper had to deflect behind.

For our side it was a presentable opportunity but once again it wasn’t taken, and we were duly punished soon after as Plymouth launched a swift counterattack that was finished off clinically by Broom.

It left the Dons with a mountain to climb and meant that the next goal in the game would be crucial.

However, it was a bridge too far and as a result we went home empty handed once again.

The Dons must now regroup, with Lincoln City due to visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday, as we bid to pick up a much-needed victory.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Dan Csoka, Alex Woodyard, Will Nightingale, George Marsh (Anthony Hartigan), Cheye Alexander, Sam Cosgrove, Ayoub Assal, Jack Rudoni (Paul Kalambayi), Luke McCormick (Terry Ablade), Lee Brown.  

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