Wasteful Dons Made To Pay Price In Cambridge Defeat

Wimbledon 1 v Cambridge 2

Wimbledon suffered their first home defeat since August as they spurned an early lead to lose 1-2 against Cambridge United on Saturday (29 November).

The Dons took the lead within moments of the start, with Bayo Akinfenwa heading on a long ball forwards into the path of Matt Tubbs, who evaded onrushing Cambridge keeper Chris Dunn before slotting home.

That put the home side on the front foot and it was against the run of play when the visitors equalised in the 12th minute. Another long ball forward caught out Alan Bennett, who could only direct it into the path of former Wimbledon man Kwesi Appiah who struck from fully 25-yards out to bring it back to level pegging.

The two sides then exchanged chances, with Akinfenwa and Sean Rigg both missing opportunities for the Dons while Cambridge’s Sullay Kaikai shot just wide.

Just after the break Kaikai gave further warning, ending a marauding run with a shot that deflected narrowly wide.

But it was the Dons who spurned the most glorious opportunity of all, as Rigg powered down the left and crossed to Akinfenwa who, from just six yards out, belied his goalscoring record by firing into the side netting.

And moments later the visitors were ahead, capitalising on slack Wimbledon defending. The Dons faced a Cambridge free-kick in the left-hand channel but left Liam Hughes completely unmarked at the far post, where he stole in to head the ball past James Shea and make it 2-1.

Although Dons manager Neal Ardley changed things around, his side struggled to find a response and it was Cambridge came closest to a fourth goal, Ryan Bird latching on to a ball over the top but shooting narrowly wide.

‘When we went behind we lost our way,’ Ardley told BBC London 94.9 afterwards. ‘We lost our shape and we lost our discipline.

‘Letting them back into the game was poor, we weren’t dominant enough, but in the end it was a tight game which could have gone either way.’

The Dons face the diversion of the FA Cup this weekend as they travel to Wycombe Wanderers on Sunday (7 December) for a 2nd round tie, before returning to league action when they travel to York on 13 December.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bennett, Barrett, Smith (Kennedy 61), Sutherland (Francomb 65), Bulman, Moore, Rigg (Azeez 66), Tubbs, Akinfenwa. Subs not used: Nicholson, Oakley, McDonnell, Goodman.

Goalscorer: Tubbs 2.

Booked: Bulman 85.

Cambridge: Dunn, Tait, Nelson, Coulson, Taylor, Appiah, Champion, Hughes, Kaikai (Blair 64), Chiedozie (Chadwick 63), Bird (Simpson 74). Subs not used: Cunnington, Norris, Atkinson, Naylor.

Goalscorers: Appiah 12, Hughes 58.

Att: 4,306.

By Rob Crane

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November 30, 2014