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Match Reports

Tilley scores for share of the points

1-1 at the Cherry Red Records Stadium

12 August 2023

Match Reports

Tilley scores for share of the points

1-1 at the Cherry Red Records Stadium

12 August 2023

James Tilley scored his first goal for the Club as AFC Wimbledon fought back to draw 1-1 with Wrexham.

Tipped by many as the promotion favourites in League Two, the Red Dragons presented a tough nut to crack as they took the lead through a fortuitous deflected effort from Elliot Lee.

Wimbledon were not deterred however as we stuck to our game plan and matched our opponents for much of the contest.

As has already been the theme of this season, the match was defined from the penalty spot as Tilley got off the mark following a foul on Harry Pell – in turn making up for Ali Al-Hamadi's failure to convert in the same situation.

The draw keeps the Dons unbeaten as we head into our next away trip with a spring in our step against Colchester United.

Johnnie Jackson made five changes to the side which defeated Coventry City 2-1 in midweek, with Alex Bass, Josh Neufville, Armani Little, Alex Pearce and Omar Bugiel all coming in to start. This saw Nik Tzanev, Lee Brown, Pell, James Ball and Aron Sasu drop to the substitutes’ bench.

The Dons started with a high tempo with Ali Al-Hamadi and Bugiel causing a lot of problems for the Wrexham defence. However, it was the visitors who took the lead just past the first quarter mark. Jacob Mendy broke down the left before crossing low for Elliot Lee to fire in a deflected effort.

We looked to respond quickly, with good work by Al-Hamadi leading to Ryan Johnson’s shot being blocked in the area. Up the other end James McLean’s header was easily scooped up by Bass.

Al-Hamadi continued to carry the majority of our threat during the first-half, but his neat pass to James Tilley proved to be too quick for our winger to control in the area.

Despite some sustained pressure we were unable to find a way through the Red Dragons, meaning we trooped in at the break with work to do.

There was a great passage of play early on in the second-half as Bugiel turned well after receiving Neufville’s pass before firing over. Tilley was then again involved as his low drive was deflected just wide of the post.

We then had a golden opportunity to level the scores as referee Darren Drysdale pointed to the penalty spot. However, it was unfortunately more disappointment for Al-Hamadi as he saw his spot-kick well matched by Ben Foster. Our striker responded quickly, seeing a powerful effort well matched.

Bass matched a free-kick from Lee as Wrexham threatened to double their lead. We wouldn’t miss out from the spot the next time we got a penalty though, with Tilley smashing the ball high into the roof of the net after substitute Pell was hauled over.

Our goalkeeper then had to make a strong save to keep the scores level deep into injury time, palming away well to his right at full stretch.

In the end, it was honours even as both sides came away with a point that reflected the way the game panned out.

AFC Wimbledon: Alex Bass, Jake Reeves, Ryan Johnson, James Tilley, Ali Al-Hamadi (Josh Davison), Josh Neufville (Aron Sasu), Armani Little (James Ball), Alex Pearce (Lee Brown), Omar Bugiel (Harry Pell), Joe Lewis, Isaac Ogundere

Attendance: 8,584 (1,200 away)

PICS: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images)


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