Dons Splutter In Northampton Defeat

Northampton 2 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley was left apologising to the fans after his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Northampton Town on Saturday (1 November).

The Dons succumbed to a first-half goal by former Womble Kaid Mohamed, with Alex Nicholls scoring an injury-time second to put the seal on defeat.

And Ardley told BBC London 94.9 afterwards: ‘It’s important for me to apologise to the travelling fans because that wasn’t acceptable.

‘We were second to everything, out-fought, out-run. We had no quality and we didn’t face adversity very well.

‘We lost because the opposition’s mentality was better than ours.’

The Dons failed to produce a single shot on target throughout this encounter as the Northampton defence successfully snuffed out the threat from Sean Rigg and George Francomb down the flanks.

In contrast, the home side took the lead with their first real attempt of the match, albeit with more than half an hour already on the clock. Jack Smith was caught in no-man’s land with Lawson D’Ath making a clever run to exploit the gap in the channel before crossing to Mohamed, who lashed the ball home to put the hosts 1-0 up.

The Dons did enjoy a rare spell of pressure soon after the half-time break, but with a breakthrough looking unlikely to come were forced to change things around by introducing QPR loanee Frankie Sutherland and Adebayo Azeez from the bench soon after the hour.

The closest that Wimbledon came was when Sutherland and Dannie Bulman linked up to release Smith down the left, but his cross was headed wide by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

And in injury time Northampton wrapped it up as D’Ath produced a surging run and shot that forced a good save from James Shea. But the ball fell to Nicholls and he did well to find the narrowest of gaps between the diving Shea and the far post to make it 2-0.

By then the Dons had introduced promising young striker George Oakley from the bench for his debut, but he had little opportunity to shine as the Dons chased the game.

The result sees Wimbledon drop five places in the table, down to 17th, although they remain within touching distance of the play-offs. They will be hoping to regain some ground when they host Dagenham & Redbridge on 15 November, but this coming weekend they face an FA Cup 1st round trip to York City.

Northampton: Archer, Tozer, Cresswell, Robertson, Newey, D’Ath, Murdoch, Byrom, Mohamed (Langmead 93), Toney (Sinclair 66), O’Toole (Nicholls 67). Subs not used: Duke, Carter, Collins, Ravenhill.

Goalscorers: Mohamed 32, Nicholls 90.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller (Oakley 91), Barrett, Frampton, Smith, Francomb (Sutherland 67), Moore (Azeez 67), Bulman, Rigg, Tubbs, Akinfenwa. Subs not used: Bennett, Kennedy, Nicholson, McDonnell.

Att: 4,548.

By Rob Crane

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November 4, 2014