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Match Reports

AFC Wimbledon 0 Town 1

Rodman goal enough for hard-earned win

12 August 2017

Town: Dean Henderson, Mat Sadler, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo ©, Carlton Morris (Lenell John-Lewis 67), Louis Dodds (Ebou Adams 81), Junior Brown, James Bolton, Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman (Niall Ennis 91)
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis, Ebou Adams, Zak Jules, Niall Ennis, Christos Shelis

AFC Wimbledon: George Long, Barry Fuller, Callum Kennedy, Paul Robinson, Deji Oshilaja, Dean Parrett, George Francomb, Nadjim Abdou (Alfie Egan 72), Kwesi Appiah (Lyle Taylor HT), Cody McDonald, Andy Barcham (Egli Kaja 77)
Subs: Joe McDonnell, Will Nightingale, Toby Sibbick, Egli Kaja, Anthony Hartingan, Alfie Egan, Lyle Taylor

Referee: Charles Breakspear
Assistants: Grant Taylor and Stuart Butler
Fourth Official: Nigel Lugg

Attendance: 3910 (297)

A fantastic first-half performance from Town gave them a hard-earned 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon. Alex Rodman opened the scoring on seven minutes as he headed home Shaun Whalley’s pin-point cross. Town could have added a couple more in the first-half if it wasn’t for a couple of fine saves from George Long. A scrappy second-half made for a nervous finale, but Town did enough to take the victory.

Team News:
A few changes from the side which were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday Night in the Carabao Cup. Arthur Gnahoua, Niall Ennis and Ebou Adams drop out with Shaun Whalley, Carlton Morris and Louis Dodds coming into the starting line-up. This is Dodds’ first start of the season and comes after Bryn Morris was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury.

First Half:
It was Town who had the first chance of the game inside the opening minute as Carlton Morris pounced on a mistake by the Wimbledon backline, but his shot was straight at Dons ‘keeper George Long who gathered at the second attempt.

An end to end opening couple of minutes saw Wimbledon create a decent chance of their own as Barry Fuller cut the ball back for Cody McDonald, McDonald’s snapshot was brilliantly saved by Dean Henderson and James Bolton then made a fantastic last ditch block to keep out Dean Parrett on the follow up.  

Town opened the scoring with just 7 minutes on the clock as they quickly broke on the Dons. Jon Nolan managed to run past a couple of players in the centre circle before feeding Shaun Whalley on the right-hand side who picked out a perfect back-post cross onto the head of Alex Rodman, who couldn’t miss from six yards out.

It was almost two-nil after 20 minutes when Shaun Whalley turned his man inside out near the by-line before cutting it back for Louis Dodds. Dodds’ shot was expertly saved by George Long and a combination of Dodds and Alex Rodman couldn’t find the net on the follow up.

Town were by far the more positive side in the opening 45 minutes and Carlton Morris had a guilt edge chance to make it 2-0. Louis Dodds had robbed Nadjim Abdou of the ball and crossed for Morris who was just six yards out but his shot was saved by the diving Long and Morris hit the post from a tight angle with his second attempt.

Half-Time: 0-1

Second Half:
Town had dominated the first-half and that dominance continued early in the second as Carlton Morris came close to adding the all-important second when he got in behind the Dons defence but his shot was palmed away by George Long.

Wimbledon certainly gained a bit more of a foothold as the second-half wore on and both Junior Brown and James Bolton picked up yellow cards as they looked to snuff out a couple of attacks.

Town were struggling to get out of their own half times as Wimbledon chased an equaliser, but they rarely troubled Dean Henderson in the Town goal in the opening 25 minutes of the half. A Dean Parrett shot, straight at the United loanee was the closest they came.

With Town struggling to hold the ball upfront, Lenell John-Lewis was brought on with 20 minutes remaining as he replaced Carlton Morris.

As the game ticked on both sides struggled to have sustained spells of possession and Paul Hurst looked to shore things up for the final 10 minutes as he replaced Louis Dodds with Ebou Adams.

Wimbledon came within a whisker of finding an equaliser in stoppage time as James Bolton lost Lyle Taylor but Taylor’s shot was blocked by Mat Sadler and the rebound went just wide of Dean Henderson’s post, as Town held on for the win.

Full Time: 0-1

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