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Match Reports

Tough blow for the Dons

Mishap costs us at Wigan

5 March 2022

AFC Wimbledon were once again made to pay for a defensive mishap as Wigan Athletic left us uncomfortably close to the drop zone.

Mercifully, other results kept us two points clear of the pack but that was of little consolation after Robbo's team threw everything they had at their high-flying opponents - but rarely looked like scoring.

The Dons came into the match off the back of letting a lead slip against Doncaster Rovers and were understandably keen to make an impact against a Wigan side sitting second in the league.

Despite some high energy from the likes of Woodyard, Rudoni and Assal, it was the Latics who broke the first-half deadlock - albeit fortuitously.

Tom Bayliss's shot was parried away by Nik Tzanev but the rebound fell to Will Keane, who gratefully slotted home from close range.

The Dons picked themselves up, especially after the break by pushing forward continuously, but we couldn't engineer a meaningful opening.

The angst was there for all to see at full-time from the fans, players and staff alike as we once again headed home empty handed.

Mark Robinson made one change to the side that was held to a 2-2 draw last time out as Paul Osew came in for Cheye Alexander at right-back with the Dons lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Confidence was certainly high in the camp ahead of this game with the group having enjoyed a whole week of preparation for the trip up north.

The match itself was bitty to say the least in the opening 20 minutes with chances being few and far between - aside from a Stephen Humphrys' header that rattled the bar from close range as Wimbledon rode their luck.

However, we didn’t get off so lightly the second time round as the Latics took the lead through Keane. The Dons were under pressure at this stage but dug in to create one or two openings before the break.

And the Dons started the second half brightly with Luke McCormick firing in a shot that was well parried by Ben Amos in the Wigan goal, as we looked to hit back early on.

Tzanev then had to stay alert to divert a powerful effort from Gwion Edwards wide with Wigan looking to reassert their authority.

Jack Rudoni was replaced by Dan Csoka midway through the second half as Robbo shifted his side into a back three, allowing Lee Brown and Osew to play in more advanced wing back roles.

The Dons dominated the closing stages, but couldn't carve open a well-drilled and strong Wigan defence. It was another frustrating result, but not one to dwell on with another long away trip to come as we visit Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

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

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