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Town 1 AFC Wimbledon 1

24 September 2016

Ian Black goal in the second half gives Town the point

AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller (c), Paul Robinson, Darius Charles, Jon Meades, Dannie Bulman, Jake Reeves, Dean Parrett (Andy Barcham 73), Tom Elliott (Tyrone Barnett 73), Lyle Taylor (Chris Whelpdale 80), Dom Poleon

Subs: Joe McDonnell, David Fitzpatrick, Sean Kelly, Chris Robertson

Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Ivan Toney, Adam El-Abd (c), Ian Black, Junior Brown, Ryan McGivern, AJ Leitch-Smith (Louis Dodds 46), Jack Grimmer, Antoni Sarcevic, Jim O'Brien (Shaun Whalley 46), Joe Riley (Olly Lancashire 80)

Subs: Mark Halstead, Andy Mangan, George Whalley, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

Ref: M Salisbury
Assistants: P Kelly and C Muge

Fourth Official: C Brook

Micky Mellon is forced into two changes with Abu Ogogo missing with a groin injury Gary Deegan serving a one match ban after reaching five yellow cards. Captain Adam El-Abd returns from suspension while Joe Riley and Ivan Toney have recovered from injury and in comes AJ Leitch-Smith with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake dropping down to the bench.

It was a bit of a frantic start to the game with both sides looking to get the ball forward quickly but neither really getting hold of it and getting possession of the ball.

It was was Wimbledon who got their noses in front and it can from a set-piece, Parrett seemed to scuff his delivery and it went low into the Town box with the defence surprised by the delivery, Lyle Taylor was alert and he calmly drove in a low shot that gave Leutwiler no chance.

Town's best chance of the early exchanges came on the 10 minute mark when Town broke quickly, the ball was played into Toney on the edge of the box and he headed it down to Brown on the left, he took play forward and then crossed into the box to find Toney but he put his header just over the bar, a good chance.

Town looked nervy at times and when the ball dropped just inside the Town half Black lost possession, this allowed the Dons to break quickly with Poleon, he cut past Grimmer and then back into the Town box but Grimmer recovered well and slid in with an important tackle and Black then cleared down field.

Town created a couple of good chances in quick succession, the first after a ball was played into Leitch-Smith in the Dons box, he brought it down well and then shot but it was deflected behind for a Town corner. Minutes later Town were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal, Jim O'Brien hit the ball into the box with pace towards Sarcevic who had found space but it was too close to Shea and the Dons keeper was out quickly to collect.

Town picked up a booking just before the half-hour mark, the ball was with Toney and he was barged off it, he recovered and showed good determination to get back and then slide in and he looked to have made a good tackle, but ref Salisbury was closer to the action and saw enough to blow for a foul and then produce a yellow card for Toney.

In added time Town created a good opening, it started with Grimmer in possession in the Town half and he saw the run that Riley had made down the right, he threaded an inviting ball to allow Riley to get in a drive for the by-line, he then cut an inviting ball back into the box but it was a Wimbledon foot that go there first to clear.

Half-time: 1-0

Micky Mellon made a double change at the restart with Louis Dodds and Shaun Whalley coming on to replace Jim O'Brien and AJ Leitch-Smith.

Town were on level terms two minutes into the half, the corner was floated into the box and then came to Sarcevic at the farside, he turned infield and recycled the ball to Ian Black, he took a touch and came infield before firing in a decent shot on target, it might have taken a touch off Toney but it beat the dive of Shea to make it 1-1.

Whalley looked lively and he nicked the ball past his marker before quickly turning to break down the wing, the hit the ball into the danger area but it was cleared but only as far as Whalley who then hit a lovely looking volley that dipped just over the Dons bar.

Whalley was injecting some pace and attacking guile into proceedings, he received the ball midway in the Dons half and went forward, he skipped one challenge and rode another before getting to the edge of the box and curling in a lovely shot but Shea was equal to it and tipped it behind for a Town corner. Moments later Whalley was the provider when he received the ball in the middle and then played it to the right for Riley to run onto, he took a touch and then fired a shot that flew across the goal towards the top corner but it was just wide.

Wimbledon hadn't shown as much as an attacking force as they had in the first but a quick break saw them get in behind the Town defence, the ball was fired across and found Poleon at the back post, he hit in a shot from near point blank range but Leutwiler was there to pull off a brilliant block to deny the Dons a second goal.

Joe Riley did well to get in a block to stop a Dons cross coming into the Town box, he hurt himself though and looked to be struggling. He stayed down when Town had finished defending the Dons attack and after treatment from physio Chris Skitt he looked ok to carry on.

Micky Mellon was forced into his final change as Joe Riley was still struggling and it was Olly Lancashire who came into the action to replace him,

Town were down to 10 men on 80 minutes, Ivan Toney had closed down Dons keeper James Shea to try and block the clearance but had caught him, Shea went down and ref Salisbury was close to the incident and called the Town striker over to show him a second yellow card.

Wimbledon were pushing with their one man advantage and trying to nick the winner, when the ball found Barcham on the left he cut inside and powered towards the Town box, Lancashire was there and slid in to block, it looked clean from the pressbox but ref Salisbury was closer and he saw enough to award a free-kick and book Lancashire.

In the end Town did enough and dug in to keep the home side at bay and pick-up and good point on the road.

Full-time: 1-1

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