Bristol Rovers 1 v Wimbledon 0
Wimbledon slipped to defeat at Bristol Rovers on Saturday (17 March), losing 1-0 in a game that was mostly played in a torrential downpour.
There must have been some doubt in referee Mike Dean's head as to whether the game could reach a conclusion as passing became increasingly tricky as the game progressed due to standing water.
It was the Dons who better adapted to the deteriorating conditions, but by then they were already 1-0 behind to an early goal that they found themselves unable to recover from.
It was a disappointing goal to concede, too, as Rashid Yussuff and Sam Hatton contrived to give away the ball on the halfway line. They were dispossessed by Mustapha Carayol who ran at the backing off Mat Mitchel-King before jinking inside and firing a spectacular shot across Seb Brown and into the top right-hand corner. It was a good goal by the hosts but Wimbledon had certainly contributed to it.
Wimbledon were threatening themselves without really carving out any clear-cut chances, and it was Rovers who went closest to the game’s second goal when Matt Gill’s shot beat Brown but clipped the post and rolled out, with Carayol bearing in to tap home any rebound.
The second period was increasingly treacherous but the Dons came into the game much more. However, they were unable to get the goal and the point that their overall performance deserved in part thanks to Rovers goalkeeper Scott Bevan.
Bevan was barracked by the Dons fans for his previous association with the Milton Keynes club but didn't let that affect him as he pulled off an impressive save from George Moncur's low edge-of-the-box effort.
And, when Bevan was beaten by Sammy Moore's effort, defender Cian Bolger managed to get enough onto the shot to deflect it inches wide.
Seb Brown had to be alert at the other end to deny the home side a second, saving from Chris Zebroski twice and Matt Harrold, but overall it was the home side who were the more relieved to hear the final whistle.
The Dons will be hoping to replicate their second-half endeavour when they travel to Oxford United on Tuesday night (20 March) before hosting Burton Albion next Saturday at Kingsmeadow.
Bristol Rovers: Bevan, Woodards, Bolger, Parkes, Paterson, Gill, Stanley, Brown (Smith 69), Zebroski, Harrold, Carayol (Richards 75). Subs not used: Anyinsah, Lund, Dorman.
Goalscorer: Carayol 11.
Booked: Harrold 39, Zebroski, Gill 90.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Balkestein, Yussuff (L. Moore 87), Moncur, Midson, Euell (Jolley 58), Knott (Djilali 74). Subs not used: B. Johnson, Turner.
By Rob Crane
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March 18, 2012