Dons Win Opening Day Fixture At Southport

Southport 0 v Wimbledon 1

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A goal midway through the second half by substitute Christian Jolley was enough to earn Wimbledon a hard-fought opening-day win at Southport on Saturday (August 14).

Jolley’s 72nd minute goal saved the blushes of striker Jon Main, who had earlier seen his penalty saved by Southport goalkeeper Tony McMillan. But Main’s miss may have appeased the football gods, as the penalty was awarded somewhat harshly after Dons right-back Sam Hatton seemed to trip on the ball outside the area.

The home side – last season’s Blue Square North champions – opened in determined fashion and caused the Dons some problems with their direct approach. And the home side were left fuming midway through the first half when claims for handball on the line against Brett Johnson went unanswered.

But the Dons were creating chances of their own as well, notably when Sam Moore’s attempt was off target following good approach work by Danny Kedwell and Hatton.

Midway through the second half, Dons manager Terry Brown opted to replace Main and Luke Moore with Jolley and Ryan Jackson, and the added pace paid off when Jolley latched on to Steve Gregory’s pass with goalkeeper McMillan stranded and rolled the ball into the back of the unguarded net.

But Wimbledon’s day was soured when substitute Lee Minshull received a late straight red card just moments after coming on for a two-footed lunge on Alan Moogan.

Despite four minutes of injury time, the Dons held on and returned to south London with the points. They will be looking to follow it up on Tuesday (August 17) when they host Histon at Kingsmeadow (7.45pm kick-off).

Attendance: 1,802

Southport: McMillan, Williams, Lever, Flynn, Davis, Powell (Barratt 77), Moogan, McNeil, Gray (Collins), McGinn (Blakeman). Subs not used: Lee, Dickinson.

Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Blackman, Gregory, Yakubu, Johnson, S. Moore, Wellard (Minshull 81), Kedwell, Main (Jolley 62), L. Moore (Jackson). Subs not used: Turner, Harris.

Booked: Gregory (45), Yakubu (79), Blackman (88).

Sent off: Minshull (87).

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear)

Rob Crane

August 15, 2010