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Match Reports

Dons lose out to league leaders

Defeat at Edgeley Park

1 April 2024

Match Reports

Dons lose out to league leaders

Defeat at Edgeley Park

1 April 2024

The Dons were edged out late on as Stockport County narrowly came away as 1-0 winners.

For the best part of 85 minutes, Wimbledon kept the league leaders firmly at bay, limiting them to very little in our area.

Nevertheless, we were made to pay for passing up our best chance of the game – with James Tilley missing from the penalty spot – as Odin Bailey scored a stunner from distance late on.

This meant that our brilliant defensive efforts counted for nothing in a game that could have a big say on the race for the play-offs.

The aim now will be to harness the team work on show and add goals into the mix, with the need for being clinical growing larger and larger by the match.

Johnnie Jackson made two changes to the side which drew against Harrogate Town last time out, with James Tilley and Joe Lewis replacing Ronan Curtis (suspended) and Jake Reeves. These changes saw Alex Pearce and Isaac Ogundere take their places amongst the substitutes.

Our lack of recognised central midfield options saw John-Joe O’Toole move forward alongside James Ball, playing a role he became accustomed to earlier in his career at Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers.

With Stockport playing a fairly high line, our best route to goal appeared to be utilising the pace of John-Kymani Gordon and Josh Neufville in behind, whilst the overall height of our side also made attacking set pieces a potential weapon.

Wimbledon were handed a golden chance to take the lead just south of the 35th minute as Omar Bugiel was felled in the area, but Tilley could only strike the resulting spotkick against the outside of the post.

It wasn’t to be from the spot and as a result the game was left finely poised as we headed into a second-half which could have a big effect on the seasons of both clubs.

Set pieces continued to seemingly be our best route to goal, and Neufville did go close with an effort from the edge of the area after breezing past three defenders.

Johnnie threw on Josh Kelly and Aron Sasu for the final 20 minutes of the contest, sensing that we could walk away with more than a point for our efforts.

As the game ticked into the final 10 minutes, it became more and more clear that only one goal would be needed for three points to be taken. And it was to be the home side who got the all important goal as Odin Bailey bent in an unstoppable strike after coming inside off the right.

We introduced Josh Davison for Jack Currie in response as the minutes continued to tick away. However, as with the theme of the game, there was little in the way of clear-cut chances in added time, meaning we came away empty-handed.

AFC Wimbledon: Alex Bass, Kofi Balmer, Ryan Johnson, James Tilley, Josh Neufville (Aron Sasu), James Ball, Omar Bugiel, John-Joe O’Toole, Jack Currie (Josh Davison), Joe Lewis, John-Kymani Gordon (Josh Kelly)

Attendance: 9,550 (390 away)

PICS: John Bradley (Pro Sports Images)

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