Battling Dons Retain Top Spot

Wimbledon 0 v Luton Town 0

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A combination of superb Seb Brown goalkeeping and the woodwork secured a point for Wimbledon as they drew 0-0 with fellow title chasers Luton Town on Wednesday (12 January).

The England C international keeper was in inspired form as the Dons battled to overcome the hangover of recent illness in the camp and the pre-game loss of left-back Chris Bush, recalled by Brentford from his spell at Kingsmeadow.

With Andre Blackman on trial with Oldham Athletic, the Dons were forced to play centre-back Fraser Flank on the left, but it was Brown who became the star of the show with a string of fine saves.

After 35 comparatively low-key minutes, Brown produced his first notable save following a rare Ismail Yakubu error, turning aside Matthew Barnes-Homer’s close-range volley. Minutes later Brown was in action again to turn over Andy Drury’s 25-yard effort.

And it was more of the same from Brown in the second period, turning aside what seemed a certain goal from Barnes-Homer’s effort before producing further noteworthy saves from Barnes-Homer again and from a Jason Walker effort.

But as Luton pushed forwards in the second-half, so Wimbledon also started finding space at the other end of the pitch, with substitute Christian Jolley on a few occasions being unable to find a finish to match the approach play.

And Mark Tyler in the Luton goal also had to be alert to gather a long-range Sam Hatton free-kick at his near post.

Drury rounded off the game with a fiercely driven effort that reverberated off the crossbar and away to safety – the second time that Luton had hit the woodwork during the game.

The draw means that Luton fail to jump ahead of Wimbledon at the top of the table and stretches the Dons’ lead to four points, but Crawley have no fewer than four games in hand.

Wimbledon’s focus this weekend turns to the FA Trophy as they entertain Woking at Kingsmeadow (15 January). The Dons then face a midweek trip to Fleetwood Town (18 January), although that game will be rescheduled should the Woking tie go to a replay.

Attendance: 4,287

Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Franks, Gregory (Jackson 78), Yakubu, Stuart, Mulley, S. Moore (Yussuff 70), Kedwell, L. Moore, Hudson (Jolley 64). Subs not used: Turner, Nwokeji.

Luton Town: Tyler, Gleeson, Keane, Pilkington, Morgan-Smith (Lawless 19), Barnes-Homer, Drury, Kroca, Howells, Gnapka, Crowe (Walker 54). Subs not used: Asafu-Adjaye, Lacey, Poku.

Booked: Gnapka 21.

Referee: Wayne Barratt (Worcestershire).

Rob Crane

January 14, 2011