Dagenham & Redbridge 0 v Wimbledon 2
Wimbledon chalked up their first Football League win for nine years with a 2-0 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday (13 August).
The victory was sealed in the second half by Rashid Yussuff's spectacular long-range effort, adding to Luke Moore's earlier penalty.
The Dons went into the game with a modified game plan following last week's defeat against Bristol Rovers, with Lee Minshull brought in to strengthen midfield and goalkeeper Seb Brown introducing more variety to his distribution.
And the new approach seemed to suit the Dons as they produced a far more confident display, with Charles Ademeno in particular causing the home defence no end of difficulties with his strength and direct running.
But the Dons' defence again seemed shaky at times, and the home side could have been ahead in the first twenty minutes as Sam Williams twice spurned opportunities and Jon Nurse forced Brown into a save.
The Dons' first clear-cut opportunity came when Ademeno robbed Scott Doe and charged into the box from the left flank. Ademeno had a shooting chance but instead elected to cross for Jack Midson but his shot went over.
And Midson was soon in the thick of it again, with two appeals for fouls turned down in as many minutes by referee Andrew Madley.
First, Midson appeared to be hauled to the ground in the box by Daggers defender Mark Arber. And then the two clashed again as Midson charged into the D before being clattered to the ground, but again Mr Madley waved away the appeals.
But the Dons finally got a break eight minutes before half-time when Sam Hatton’s long throw was flicked on by Minshull and then inexplicably handled under no pessure by Doe. This time, Mr Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Luke Moore's penalty sent Chis Lewington the wrong way to give the Dons a half-time lead.
The Dons came out from the break with renewed confidence and got their reward from Brown's 57th minute goal kick. The ball broke to Yussuff on the edge of the centre circle and the midfielder charged forward. With the Daggers defence backing off, he feinted to pass to Ademeno before unleashing a spectacular shot from the edge of the area and into the top-left corner of the net.
Good work by Minshull and Hatton gave Yussuff the chance of a second goal, but his 18-yard effort was blocked by Arber, and Midson had two further penalty appeals turned down as he twice stumbled under challenge from Phil Walsh.
But the Daggers were creating chances of their own and a side more proficient in front of goal would surely have capitalised on them. The most glaring miss came in injury time when the unmarked Walsh met a corner with a thumping header that went wide when it really should have been nestling in the back of the Dons goal.
Afterwards, Dons boss Terry Brown told the Surrey Herald: "We worked our socks off. We did our homework on them and changed our game, because as much as I love playing football I think there are about 25 games a year where you have to battle and scrap."
The Dons travel to crisis club Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday (16 August) before entertaining Hereford United at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (20 August).
Dagenham and Redbridge: Lewington, McCrory (Elito 67), Doe, Arber, Williams, Nurse, Tomlin, Reed (Woodall 67), Howell, Lee, Ogogo (Walsh 44). Subs not used: Shea, Ilesanmi.
Wimbledon: S. Brown, Gwillim, Porter (S. Moore 67), Stuart, Johnson, Hatton, Ademeno (Jolley 75), Midson, L. Moore, Minshull, Yussuff (Wellard 87). Subs not used: Bush, Turner.
Goalscorers: L. Moore 37 (pen), Yussuff 57.
Booked: L. Moore 50, Hatton 72.
Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).
August 14, 2011