Yussuff Goal Caps Dons' Comeback

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A late Rashid Yussuff equaliser salvaged a point for Wimbledon as they twice came from two goals down to draw at Newport on Monday (3 January).

The midfielder had only been on the pitch for a few minutes before he burst into the box, latched on to Danny Kedwell’s clever reverse pass, and fired home his dramatic equaliser.

And both sides still had time to spurn chances for a winner as a topsy-turvy game ended in near-blizzard conditions. The draw leaves the Dons still top of the table but vulnerable to Crawley and Luton, both of whom have games in hand.

The home side charged into an early 2-0 lead on Monday, with Chris Todd capitalising on some below-par defending after 10 minutes and then Jamie Collins capping a breakaway move eight minutes later.

James Mulley pulled one back for the Dons – firing home a diagonal shot for his second goal in as many games since signing non-contract terms with the club – but Collins’ second after 36 minutes left the Dons contemplating an uphill task during the half-time break.

But, despite suffering from Ismail Yakubu’s absence through a warm-up injury and continuing illness in the camp, the Dons picked themselves up magnificently and had the better of the second period.

First Sam Hatton fired home a free-kick from 25-yards the Newport keeper Glyn Thompson partially blocked only to see it roll over the line.

And the Dons had chances to net again and level the scores – with Kirk Hudson going the closest with his effort going just inches wide – before seeing Newport’s Craig Reid break the offside trap and hit the post with Seb Brown beaten.

Newport were made to pay for that miss when Yussuff popped up in the 83rd minute to net the equaliser, firing across Thompson and into the back of the net.

Delighted Dons manager Terry Brown told the Surrey Comet afterwards: “To say it was a point gained from the jaws of defeat is an understatement.

“We were really struggling at the back for bodies and when you look at our back four it is three 19-year-olds, a 22-year-old and a 20-year-old keeper.”

The Dons travel to Darlington on Saturday (8 January) before an all-ticket top-of-the-table clash against Luton Town on Wednesday 12 January. The Luton game will be shown live on Premier Sports.

Attendance: 3,462

Newport: Thompson, Bignot, Collins, Warren, Todd, Rose, Reid, Matthews (McDonald 90), Knights (Foley 79), Goodall, Montgomery (Odhiambo 79). Subs not used: Gardner, Wright.

Goalscorers: Todd 10, Collins 18, 36.

Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, Gregory, Franks, Harris (Nwokeji 90), Mulley, L. Moore (Yussuff 79), Kedwell, Hudson, Jackson (Jolley 63). Subs not used: S. Moore, Turner.

Goalscorers: Mulley 28, Hatton 47, Yussuff 82.

Booked: Franks 50.

Referee: Steve Bratt (West Midlands).

Rob Crane

January 4, 2011