Wimbledon 2 v Crawley 5
Suicidal defending helped condemn Wimbledon to an emphatic home defeat on Saturday (22 October) against table-topping Crawley Town.
Just three minutes were on the clock when Chris Bush attempted to clear Andy Drury's low corner, but the defender only succeeded in slicing the ball into the back of his own net.
The Dons were clearly discomforted by the more physically imposing visitors and that was underlined after nine minutes when Claude Davis brushed aside his marker to power home a header and give Crawley a 2-0 lead.
But the Dons slowly began to settle into the game, helped in no small measure by pulling a goal back after just 11 minutes. Max Porter powered past two Crawley challenges in the box before delivering a low, driven cross that Davis turned past his own keeper with Lee Minshull lurking.
And the fightback was complete on the stroke of half time when Jack Midson fired home a shot from just outside the box for his ninth goal of the season, taking him joint top of the League Two scoring charts.
The Dons were further buoyed by the sending off of Crawley manager Steve Evans at half-time, the Scotsman apparently incurring the displeasure of the referee after reacting furiously to Wimbledon supporters' chants about a criminal conviction arising from his time as manager of Boston United.
But it was to be a false dawn as, just nine minutes into the second period, the Dons hit the self-destruct button again, with Callum McNaughton adjudged to have handled in the box and Matt Tubbs tucking away the penalty.
And the button was in action again five minutes later as Seb Brown made a hash of gathering a loose ball and Dannie Bulman was able to head home into the back of the net.
The Dons were visibly deflated by those two goals and offered little going forward, Minshull going closest with a header that went tamely over the bar.
And six minutes from the end the visitors completed the scoring when Bulman got his second, heading home unmarked following a cross from the right.
Afterwards, Terry Brown told the BBC: "The goals were hideous, absolutely hideous.
"The boys showed character in the first half, bouncing back, but you can't keep bouncing back from diabolical defending and that's what we had today."
The Dons will be hoping for better performances when they travel to Torquay United on Tuesday (25 October) and Shrewsbury on Saturday (29 October).
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, Porter, Stuart, McNaughton, Minshull (Kiernan 75), S. Moore, Midson, Wellard, Jolley (Ademeno 88). Subs not used: Johnson, Turner, Mulley.
Goalscorers: Davis (o.g.) 11, Midson 44.
Crawley Town: Shearer, Howell, McFadzean, Torres (Akpan 51), Tubbs, Simpson, Hunt (Neilson 51), Bulman, Barnett (Akinde 26), Drury, Davis. Subs not used: Mills, Kuipers.
Goalscorers: Bush (o.g.) 3, Davis 9, Tubbs 54, Bulman 59, 84.
Booked: Torres 43.
By Rob Crane
www.wimbledonsw19.com are the proud sponsors of Marcus Gayle's away kit
October 23, 2011