Dons Made To Pay As Accrington Milk Their Chance

Accrington 1 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon went down to defeat thanks to a late goal by James Gray as they lost 0-1 at Accrington Stanley on Saturday (13 September).

The Dons had an early chance to take the lead when Sean Rigg played in Matt Tubbs, but the normally prolific marksman’s effort was off target.

That near-miss seemed to stir the home side into action, with young debutant Ben Harrison forced into action to clear Adam Buxton’s cross, Rob Atkinson heading wide and Luke Joyce shooting off target as the Dons were pinned back for the majority of the first period.

But after the break it was a different matter as the Dons pushed forward, and on 55 minutes Tubbs went close to opening the scoring when following Tom Beere’s corner his flicked effort was diverted onto the crossbar by Stanley keeper Joe Lumley.

The chances continued to come for the Dons, with Beere going close to a goal on his full debut and Tubbs being put through by Adebayo Akinfenwa’s flick only to shoot straight at Lumley.

And Tubbs again had an opening when put through by an incisive Sammy Moore pass, only for his curled effort to be fractionally off target.

But all the hard work came undone with just seven minutes remaining when Barry Fuller was caught the wrong side of Gray and the Accrington man latched on to Buxton’s through ball to slot home the only goal of the game.

Although the Dons threw men forward in an attempt to salvage a point, the closest they got was when Alan Bennett’s header was saved by Lumley.

Afterwards, manager Neal Ardley told Dons Player: ‘It’s tough to take that we are going home with nothing.

‘I spoke to James Shea afterwards and he said that he never had a shot to save before they scored late on. That is a hard thing for the lads to take.’

But Ardley was full of praise for youth-team graduates Harrison and Beere, both making their full debuts. ‘It was a tough place for them to come in, but they did not let us down and I thought they were outstanding.’

The Dons will be hoping to bounce back when they face table-toppers Burton Albion at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday (16 September) before another home game against Morecambe on Saturday 20 September. 

Accrington: Lumley, Atkinson, Aldred, Buxton, Hunt, Joyce, Naismith, Proctor, Mingoia (Windass 70), Carver, Gray (Hatfield 93). Subs not used: Winnard, McCartan, Simpson, Goulding, Bowerman.

Goalscorer: Gray 83.

Booked: Proctor 55.

Wimbledon: Shea, Bennett, Barrett, Harrison, Fuller, Moore, Bulman, Rigg (Francomb 66), Beere (Sainte-Luce 75), Tubbs, Akinfenwa (Azeez 75). Subs not used: Phillips, Kennedy, Nicholson, McDonnell.

Booked: Rigg 9.

Att: 1,238

By Rob Crane

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September 14, 2014