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Match Reports

Dons narrowly beaten by Gills

Defeat at Priestfield

28 November 2023

Match Reports

Dons narrowly beaten by Gills

Defeat at Priestfield

28 November 2023

Wimbledon were left empty-handed on a stop-start evening in Kent as Gillingham emerged as the 1-0 victors.

A game that offered little in the way of clear cut chances was put on hold for a period of 20 minutes following a power cut. When play did get back underway however it was the Dons who had the better of the chances, with Ali Al-Hamadi coming closest to continuing his hot streak in front of goal as he struck the post.

The home side got their goal largely against the run of play as we uncharacteristically conceded from a set piece. This proved to be decisive as our late aerial deliveries failed to result in the opening required to get anything out of the game, meaning we were dealt only our second away defeat of the season in the league.

Johnnie Jackson made one change to the side which beat Notts County 4-2, with Omar Bugiel returning from suspension to come in for Josh Davison.

The returning Bugiel showed some neat touches in the opening minutes of the game, with one particular bit of skills catching the eye as he clipped the ball over the head of an oncoming Gills defender.

Up the other end Isaac Ogundere had to be alert as he snuffed out a lofted ball over the top to dribble the ball to safety. It was the in-form Jake Reeves who had our first shot of the evening just prior to the 20th minute mark, however his long range effort was comfortably off target.

Quick thinking from a Jack Currie throw-in saw Bugiel get to the byline, however no one could quite connect with his dangerous low cross. There was then another half chance as we approached half-time, with Armani Little firing wide under heavy pressure.

After a half of promise the Dons would be looking to add that final golden touch to their opportunities in the second 45 minutes.

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck as he burst down the left-hand side only to see his cross cut out as we sought that all important successful final ball.

Gillingham had their first meaningful shot of the night just past the hour mark when Connor Mahoney fired wildly off target under pressure from Currie.

Then came a moment that no one could have predicted as the floodlights went out at Priestfield, leading to a period of uncertainty due to a power cut in the local area.

Play resumed after a period of 20 minutes as both sides looked to re-find their levels of intensity following the unexpected break in play.

It was the Dons who started the brighter just as 24 minutes of added time were signalled, with Bugiel almost meeting a hoisted ball before the hosts scrambled clear. Josh Neufville was then introduced in place of James Tilley for the final 20 or so minutes.

Wimbledon created our best opening of the evening shortly after as Al-Hamadi cannoned off target following a great driving run by Bugiel.

Gills substitute George Lapslie seemingly had only Alex Bass to beat but he could only head into the arms of our goalkeeper. Al-Hamadi then repeated the trick at the other end as we continued to wait for an opening goal.

Our number 10 then came even closer as he cut inside onto his left foot and struck the inside of the post. It was the hosts who snuck ahead however, with Conor Masterson heading into the far corner from a lofted free-kick.

In response Davison, Aron Sasu and James Ball came on to bring more freshness to the end of the proceedings, however it was too little too late as the hosts held on for the three points.

AFC Wimbledon: Alex Bass, Jake Reeves, Ryan Johnson, James Tilley (Josh Neufville), Ali Al-Hamadi, Armani Little, Omar Bugiel (Josh Davison), Connor Lemonheigh-Evans (James Ball), Jack Currie, Joe Lewis, Isaac Ogundere (Aron Sasu)

Attendance: 5,747 (548 away)

PICS: Stephen Flynn (Pro Sports Images)


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