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Match Reports

Dons undone as Swindon fightback

Defeat at the County Ground

13 April 2024

Match Reports

Dons undone as Swindon fightback

Defeat at the County Ground

13 April 2024

The Dons were made to pay for defensive lapses as Swindon Town came from behind to win 3-2 on Saturday.

It had all started so well for our side initially as a Joe Lewis goal after 85 seconds breathed extra life into our push for the play-off places – particularly with other scores across the division going in our favour.

However, things would go on to unravel in the second-half as Dawson Devoy scored a quickfire brace to follow up Aaron Drinan’s equaliser, putting a real dent in our hopes and ultimately settling the contest.

Lewis did manage to chalk up another late header, put it would prove to be too little too late as we were made to rue our lapses at the back.

Heading into the final two games of the season, Wimbledon now need things to fall in our favour elsewhere in order to have any hope of sneaking into seventh place against the odds.

Johnnie Jackson made two changes to the side which beat Salford City 1-0 as Lee Brown and John-Kymani Gordon replaced Jack Currie (injured) and James Tilley.

Our players donned black armbands in tribute to our former manager, Joe Kinnear, who sadly passed away recently.

The start made by our team would be one that our ex-boss would’ve been proud of as we took the lead after just 85 seconds on the clock. A Lee Brown corner was whipped in dangerously, allowing for Lewis to charge across the box and head home into the far corner.

Despite charging out the traps, the Dons had to stay alert to any threats posed by our hosts, with Alex Bass being called into action to deny Jake Cain after the Swindon forward won the ball back high.

Josh Neufville was a constant threat throughout the first half an hour, beating his full-back at every opportunity to send over a series of dangerous crosses, but none of his team-mates managed to get on the end of his deliveries.

Wimbledon could well have headed in at the break with a two-goal lead, had the ball broken better for Josh Kelly as he rounded the goalkeeper.

Nevertheless, the 1-0 scoreline was satisfying enough as the half-time whistle blew, with our side knowing there was still work to be done to get the win over the line.

We couldn’t recreate the quick start in the second period as the hosts nicked an equaliser that they barely had to work hard for. A routine cross came into the area, but Bass spilled the delivery, allowing Aaron Drinan to smash home into the net despite the attempts of two Dons defenders on the line.

This opened the game up heading into the final quarter, with things becoming more stretched, opening up plenty of space in the centre of the pitch.

Kofi Balmer’s long throws continued to be a useful weapon and one of his deliveries found the head of Omar Bugiel, but the duo couldn’t repeat the move which won us the game against Salford City as the striker’s header found the hands of Jack Bycroft.

Our wastefulness in the final third was soon punished as the Robins took the lead for the first time. A near post crossed was drilled in, allowing substitute Dawson Devoy to direct the ball into the net.

Wimbledon rang the changes in response, as Tilley, Josh Davison, Ryan McLean and John-Joe O’Toole were all introduced for the closing stages of the contest.

It mattered little though as Swindon extended their lead. This time Devoy collected a cross on the far side of the area before jinking inside and firing in via the aid of a big deflection.

Bass prevented a fourth as Paul Glatzel shot low, keeping us in the game. It was then Lewis who reduced the arrears, this time meeting Balmer’s cross to head home into the top corner with three minutes of normal time on the clock.

There was then another small twist as Swindon’s Udoka Godwin-Malife received a red card for a second booking as six minutes of added time was shown.

Despite throwing everything at the hosts goal in the final few minutes, nothing quite fell for the Dons as we missed a chance to make up more ground on the top seven.

AFC Wimbledon: Alex Bass, Lee Brown (Josh Davison), Jake Reeves, Kofi Balmer, Ryan Johnson, Josh Kelly (Ryan McLean), Josh Neufville (James Tilley), Armani Little (John-Joe O’Toole), Omar Bugiel, John-Joe O’Toole, Joe Lewis, John-Kymani Gordon

Attendance: 8,511 (1,013 away)

PICS: Stephen Flynn (Pro Sports Images)

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