Wimbledon 4 v Burton Albion 0
Two injury-time goals made it comfortable for Wimbledon on Saturday (24 March) as they eased to a win against managerless Burton Albion to ease their own lingering relegation fears.
The visitors had sacked manager Paul Peschisolido after a run of 14 games without a win but it wasn't enough to inspire them to victory against the Dons, who are now 11 points clear of the final relegation place with seven games left to play.
Afterwards, Dons boss Terry Brown told BBC London 94.9: "We've had three consecutive wins at home and that's made the difference between us being not in great jeopardy and nearly safe.
"But we're not quite safe yet - I still want my 50 points."
This game could have had a very different course if Burton had not hit the bar in the opening seconds, Seb Brown doing just enough to get his fingertips onto Adam Bolder’s long-range effort and deflect it onto the bar and over.
But that was as close as the visitors got and, still with just nine minutes on the clock, Luke Moore gave the Dons a 1-0 advantage, finding himself in acres of space to receive George Moncur’s pass, steady himself and fire home past Ross Atkins.
That opportunity had come as a result of a long Seb Brown goal kick, in contrast to the Dons' long-standing tendency to over-elaborate their build-up play, and the same approach nearly paid dividends again when Jack Midson was played in by Luke Moore, but his drive from the edge of the box was turned aside by Atkins.
And, as Wimbledon continued to dominate, Atkins was again forced into action to save from a Billy Knott effort.
The Dons' pressure continued in the second period, with Moncur exchanging passes on the edge of the area before seeing his shot turned away by Atkins.
The deserved second finally came with quarter of an hour remaining. Substitute Byron Harrison produced a forceful run that had the Burton defence backing off. He played in Midson who turned inside and saw Atkins again produce a save, but the goalkeeper was helpless to prevent Moncur's follow-up as he fired home from a narrow angle to make it 2-0.
Seb Brown had to be alert to gather a Ryan Austin header in a rare Burton forward foray, but it was deep in injury time that the Dons added a gloss to their performance with two further goals.
First Atkins spoilt his copybook by flapping at Sammy Moore's corner, with Harrison following-in Midson's header to convert from almost on the line and chalk up his first goal since his record transfer signing from Stevenage.
And then, with Burton demoralised, they somehow allowed a throw to progress all the way through to Sammy Moore who calmly lifted the ball over Atkins and into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
Amazingly, it was the first time since Plymouth away - the Dons' third game of the season - that Wimbledon had kept a clean sheet in a game they won.
The Dons now face the long trip to Accrington Stanley next Saturday before a busy bank holiday weekend with a Good Friday home game against Rotherham before an Easter Monday trip to Southend.
In between, the reserves have an opportunity to progress to the London Senior Cup final as they play Hendon at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday 3 April.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Balkestein, Jolley, Moncur, Midson, L. Moore (Harrison 67), Knott (Wellard 64). Subs not used: B. Johnson, Turner, Kiernan.
Goalscorers: L. Moore 9, Moncur 75, S. Moore 90, Harrison 90.
Booked: Hatton 43, S. Moore 85.
Burton: Atkins, Corbett, James, Austin, Webster, Bolder, Maghoma, Ainsworth (Phillips 58), Clucas (Palmer 64), Richards, Pearson (Yussuf 77). Subs not used: Ada, Taylor.
Booked: Bolder 45.
By Rob Crane
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March 25, 2012