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Match Reports

Balmer brilliance seals victory

A big win away

9 March 2024

Match Reports

Balmer brilliance seals victory

A big win away

9 March 2024

The Dons picked up a priceless away victory as our emphasis on set pieces saw us defeat Notts County 2-0 at Meadow Lane.

After a quiet first-half the game was there for the taking and it was Wimbledon who went on to seize the opportunity, picking up our first away win of 2024.

An own goal from Connell Rawlinson – from a Kofi Balmer long throw - got our necks in front before Balmer got himself on the scoresheet with a thumping header to put the icing on the cake.

It’s a victory that not only makes it three clean sheets in a row but also tightens the gap on the play-off places to one solitary point as we head into the final nine games of this exciting league campaign.

Johnnie Jackson made one change to the side which started against Grimsby Town in midweek, with Omar Bugiel shaking off an injury to replace Ronan Curtis. This meant the latter dropped to the bench as Alex Pearce came out of the squad.

With the hosts playing an expansive style there was going to be opportunities for the Dons to exploit the space left in behind and down the channels, however it was the Magpies who started the stronger as they forced a corner following a good defensive block.

Notts County then came mightily close to scoring as Jodi Jones curled a free-kick wide that had Alex Bass at full stretch. Up the other end it was the effective John-Joe O’Toole who had our first effort of note as fired straight at Sam Slocombe following a set piece of our own.

Bugiel then showed quick thinking to take a free-kick quickly, leading to Josh Kelly taking on a shot from a tight angle that Slocombe matched comfortably.

It meant that things were very much in the balance as we headed into the second-half of this Sky Bet League Two fixture.

Wimbledon started positively in the second period, with Jack Currie putting in a good cross that Bugiel couldn’t quite connect with firmly.

Sensing the chance to get ahead in the game, Johnnie rang the changes as John-Kymani Gordon and Curtis were brought on for the final half an hour.

The changes seemed to swing the tide fully in our favour as we broke the deadlock. A long throw from Kofi Balmer reached O’Toole, whose presence forced Rawlinson to direct the ball into his own net.

It was then a case of provider turning scorer as Balmer popped up with his first senior goal in English football – heading home a corner at the back post – to wrap up a priceless three points for the Dons.

AFC Wimbledon: Alex Bass, Lee Brown, Jake Reeves, Kofi Balmer, James Tilley (Ronan Curtis), Josh Kelly (John-Kymani Gordon), Josh Neufville, Armani Little, Omar Bugiel (Harry Pell), Jack Currie, John-Joe O'Toole.

Attendance: 10,224 (1,140)

PICS: Jez Tighe (Pro Sports Images)

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