Oxford United 1 v Wimbledon 0
Wimbledon were unlucky to lose 1-0 at promotion-chasing Oxford on Tuesday night (20 March) as they were denied claims for a last-minute penalty.
The Dons were piling forward to try and snatch an equaliser when Kieran Djilali's shot through a crowded penalty area appeared to be handled.
But, to the relief of the home side, referee Keith Stroud ignored the claims, leaving the Dons to experience their second away defeat in four days.
The Dons had got off to a flying start in this game with Luke Moore, replacing Jason Euell whose loan end has come to an end, forcing a good save from home keeper Ryan Clarke after just 70 seconds.
Billy Knott also had a long-range effort over the bar after the home side's Dean Morgan had spurned a gilt-edged chance, completely missing a near-post cross when it seemed easier to score.
The Dons had their first penalty claim of the evening after 28 minutes when Sammy Moore burst into the box and appeared to be sent sprawling by home captain Jake Wright. However, all the Dons got was a corner.
And they had en even better opportunity when a clever through ball released George Moncur but, from a narrow angle, Clarke did well to come off his line and block the West Ham loanee’s shot.
In a first-half of numerous chances, Pim Balkestein had to be alert to clear a goal-bound shot from Oli Johnson that had Seb Brown beaten, while the Dons keeper also had to be alert to turn away a 35-yard Morgan free-kick
And the half ended with Rashid Yussuff playing a one-two with Moncur before curling an effort just wide of the post.
The home side came out with renewed vigour after the interval and achieved the breakthrough in the 58th minute. The Dons were slow to clear their lines and the ball eventually fell to Morgan who drilled an unstoppable shot past Brown at his near post.
Johnson nearly made it 'game over' when his header hit the bar, and Oxford were nearly made to pay for that as the Dons piled forward at the death, with Moncur’s shot being saved by Clarke before that denied penalty appeal that saw the Dons' hopes fade.
They will be hoping for better luck this Saturday when they entertain Burton Albion at Kingsmeadow. Burton currently sit one place and one point below the Dons in the League Two table, so Terry Brown's side will be hoping for three more points to help secure their Football League status for next season.
Oxford: Clarke, Duberry, Wright, Chapman (Batt 71), Hall, Whing, Morgan (Tonkin 82), Johnson, Leven, Rendell (Constable 71), Davies. Subs not used: Worley, Montano.
Goalscorer: Morgan 57.
Booked: Duberry 55.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Balkestein, Yussuff (Djilali 84), Moncur, Midson, L. Moore (Harrison 86), Knott (Jolley 77). Subs not used: B. Johnson, Turner.
By Rob Crane
What do you think of Wimbledon's recent performances? Why not comment on our forum?
www.wimbledonsw19.com are the proud sponsors of Marcus Gayle's away kit
March 21, 2012