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Match Reports

Dons exit at quarter-final stage

Defeat at the Weston Homes Stadium

30 January 2024

Match Reports

Dons exit at quarter-final stage

Defeat at the Weston Homes Stadium

30 January 2024

A late flurry proved to be in vain for Wimbledon as Peterborough United ended our hopes of a Wembley appearance.

It was the Sky Bet League One side who came out on top in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, with two goals in the first four minutes leaving the Dons with a mountain to climb.

Our hopes of a comeback were heightened when Ryan McLean got a goal back late on, but Ricky-Jade Jones would go on to clinch the match for the hosts, with Nik Tzanev caught upfield after he joined the attack for a last-minute corner.

For Wimbledon, the focus returns to the league this coming weekend as we seek to keep our play-off hopes alive.

Johnnie Jackson made several changes to the side which beat Mansfield Town 2-1 on Saturday as Tzanev, Huseyin Biler, Harry Pell, James Ball, Aron Sasu and Paul Kalambayi all came in. This meant that Alex Bass, Isaac Ogundere, Omar Bugiel, Jake Reeves, John-Kymani Gordon (cup-tied) and Lee Brown all dropped out.

Armani Little was handed the captain’s armband, whilst Morgan Williams was added to the list of substitutes after missing out on the weekend.

It was a lacklustre start to the game for the Dons as we conceded with just over a minute on the clock, with Malik Mothersille firing high into the net from close range.

Things would go from bad to worse as the Posh got their second of the evening just short of the fourth minute. This time Ephron Mason-Clark charged in behind, before scoring from a tight angle with the help of a deflection.

A shell-shocked Wimbledon looked to mount a quick response, as Little fired off target from distance. Brown was introduced not long after, replacing Joe Lewis in what appeared to be a precautionary change rather than anything more serious.

Little was starting to pull the strings and almost fashioned a chance for us to half the deficit, as a looping cross from the midfielder was headed off target by Pell.

There was plenty of work for the Dons to do in the second-half as we sought to keep our Wembley hopes alive. Little continued to make things tick, with Currie and Sasu providing good outlets down the left.

Ronan Curtis was introduced from the bench just past the hour mark, with the Ireland international hoping to have another meaningful impact after his late winner on Saturday.

Despite having more of the ball the Dons struggled to break down the Peterborough backline, who continuously blocked any shots that came their way.

Ryan McLean and Williams were both brought on for the final knockings of the game in what was a last roll of the dice. Tzanev pulled off an excellent save to keep the score to two late on as Wimbledon lived on the edge.  

It was McLean who would relight a fire in our bellies as he headed home from a corner to set up a grandstand finish with five minutes of stoppage time shown. The Posh would also have chances of their own, striking the woodwork barely a minute later. 

Tzanev was thrown up for a corner as the Dons looked to throw the kitchen sink at the hosts, but it would prove to be an unfortunate turn of events with Posh breaking upfield to score into an unguarded net through Ricky-Jade Jones. This brought our Bristol Street Motors Trophy campaign to an end.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Huseyin Biler, James Tilley, Harry Pell, Josh Davison (Ryan McLean), Armani Little, James Ball (Morgan Williams), Jack Currie, Aron Sasu (Ronan Curtis), Paul Kalambayi, Joe Lewis (Lee Brown)

Attendance: 3,225 (173 away)

PICS: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images)

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