Dons Sink To Hereford Defeat

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Wimbledon are again looking over their shoulders at the relegation battle after losing to struggling Hereford United on Saturday (3 March).

The Dons produced more calamitous defending to find themselves 2-0 down, although Jack Midson’s second-half strike did give them some hope.

Jamie Stuart continued his poor form this season by contributing to both goals conceded, rushing forward to try and cover gaps in midfield and leaving his defensive colleagues exposed.

First Hereford won the ball in midfield and, as they surged forward, Stuart lunged in and fouled Will Evans. But the referee played advantage and Mat Mitchel-King was unable to recover in time to prevent Lyle Taylor from turning in Ben Purkiss’s low right-hand cross.

And then Stuart stepped up from the back four to close down another surging Evans run, only to see Taylor run in into the gap this created before crossing for Tom Barkhuizen to convert at the near post.

Yet Wimbledon had started this game the stronger of the two sides, with home keeper David Cornell having to save a volley from Billy Knott and a long-distance Sam Hatton free-kick in the opening quarter of an hour.

And even afterwards they had their chances, as immediately after Hereford's second Midson saw an effort strike the post before rebounding clear, and then Byron Harrison had a header ruled out for offside.

Midway through the second half the Dons did reduce the deficit, Midson rising at the far post to head a Sammy Moore corner over the line before Cornell could gather.

But the Dons failed to capitalise on that glimmer of hope and now face three crucial home games against fellow strugglers Plymouth (6 March), Dagenham & Redbridge (10 March) and Bradford City (13 March).

And boss Terry Brown warned his men via the club’s website: "I would like us to win two out of the three home games.

"I do not know how many points we need, but there are 39 points up for grabs so we have a lot to play for."

Attendance: 2,147

Hereford: Cornell, Purkiss, Townsend, Purdie, Facey, Lunt, Clist, Barkhuizen (Clucas 62), Anthony, Taylor (Williams 79), Evans. Subs not used: Bartlett, Colbeck, Elder.

Goalscorers: Taylor 18, Barkhuizen 34.

Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Stuart, Knott (Yussuff 62), Moncur (L. Moore 79), Midson, Harrison (Euell 62), Jolley. Subs not used: McNaughton, Turner.

Goalscorer: Midson 68.

By Rob Crane

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March 4, 2012