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Match Reports

More pain for Dons after disallowed goal

Dons edged out by Imps

12 March 2022

Mark Robinson’s AFC Wimbledon were cruelly beaten by Lincoln City as almost everything went against our side on a frustrating afternoon.

A disallowed goal and shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears as we simply didn’t catch a break from the referee Carl Brook and the officials during a game of mass frustration.

Lewis Fiorini put the visitors ahead with a long-range effort which put more pressure on our side and despite there being a red card for Lincoln’s Brooke Norton-Cuffy, it proved to be a setback that we simply couldn’t recover from as Teddy Bishop clinched the win for the visitors late on.

The supporters backed our side to the hilt as always, but that familiar sense of disappointment and angst was felt once more by those of a Wimbledon persuasion as we were dealt yet another potentially season defining setback.

On the balance of play, it was a result that was extremely harsh on the Dons, but at the same time it was a huge opportunity missed that could cost us dear as the campaign reaches its final knockings. The only semblance of a positive was that results elsewhere kept us out of the relegation zone.

Robbo rang the changes for our return to home turf with the likes of Zach Robinson, Ben Heneghan and Dapo Mebude coming into the starting 11 in place of Sam Cosgrove, Paul Kalambayi and George Marsh.

These changes meant that the Dons lined up with a box in midfield, whilst Mebude and Robinson formed a fluid front two.

The message in the build up to this game was clear – it’s about the football club and not anyone as individuals. And it was certainly one that was heard loud and clear as the Wimbledon faithful cranked up the volume in the opening stages to get behind their team.

Mebude was certainly lively during the first half an hour of the game, doing well to work some room before arrowing a shot in that was heading for the bottom right-hand corner before Jordan Wright tipped it wide for the visitors.

However, the wind was quickly knocked out of the Dons’ sails as Lincoln took the lead against the run of play. Fiorini was given far too much room to line up a shot from distance, with his resulting effort finding the net via a hand from Nik Tzanev.

Down at the break but still playing with some promise, a massive response was needed from our side in the second-half if we were to get back to winning ways.

Zach Robinson was next to go close for the Dons as he buccaneered his way down the right-hand side of the area before flashing a shot just wide of the far post. The momentum was starting to build again and there was a sense that things were turning.

And it appeared that the pressure was getting to Lincoln, with tempers boiling over as Norton-Cuffy pushed Lee Brown from behind, leading to a red card being brandished by referee Carl Brook.

Wimbledon then had the ball in the net through Jack Rudoni, but to everyone’s surprise the play was seemingly pulled back for offside, before the officials awarded a free-kick the way of Robbo’s side, as mass confusion was felt around the ground.

Then disaster struck for the Dons as the Imps doubled their lead. A routine back pass to Tzanev saw our keeper’s attempted clearance deflected skyward by John Marquis, before the striker laid the ball on a plate for Bishop to guide the ball home into the half unguarded net.

It was a hammer blow for Wimbledon that we simply couldn’t recover from as Lincoln saw out a win that they barely deserved on the balance of play.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Alex Woodyard, Will Nightingale, Cheye Alexander (Paul Osew), Ayoub Assal (Terry Ablade), Jack Rudoni, Zach Robinson, Dapo Mebude, Luke McCormick (Anthony Hartigan), Ben Heneghan, Lee Brown. 

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