Wimbledon 1 v Morecambe 1
Vastly improved Wimbledon had to be content with a point against Morecambe on Saturday (18 February), courtesy of Rashid Yussuff’s second-half equaliser.
The Dons were keen to bounce back after the disappointment of their midweek defeat at bottom club Northampton and produced a display that offered plenty of encouragement for the weeks ahead.
Boss Terry Brown will have been particularly pleased with the displays of recalled full-backs Sam Hatton and Chris Bush who all afternoon tormented the visitors with their marauding runs.
But the Dons still had to come from behind as, against the run of play, they found themselves trailing to a Gary McDonald goal early in the second half.
Brown told the BBC London 94.9: “I felt we dominated for long periods in the match. We played some great football, but I am disappointed with our work in the final third.”
The Dons attacked from the off and one early Bush run fed Jack Midson, but the Dons’ leading scorer saw his blistering drive palmed away by Morecambe keeper Barry Roche.
And Bush teased the visiting defence again with a later low cross that somehow evaded a gaggle of Wimbledon players in the box.
Hatton had to be alert at the other end, his well-timed tackle on the edge of the box denying a Morecambe forward during a rare attack from the visitors, but overall it was the Dons who were posing all the attacking threat.
It was profligate finishing that was letting the Dons down, as two more Bush runs resulted in ‘high and mighty’ attempts on goal from George Moncur and Jason Euell.
Seb Brown in the Dons goal was called into serious action just once during the first half and even that was for a comfortable smother by Jordan Burrow.
For all their domination, the Dons found themselves a goal behind six minutes after the restart. Bush blocked Danny Carlton’s initial cross but the Morecambe man’s second attempt looped towards the far post and in past a stranded Brown, although McDonald was credited with getting a slight touch on the ball to help it home.
Despite conceding another soft goal, Wimbledon heads didn’t drop and they continued to press forward. Hatton had one effort from a free-kick deflected into the hands of Roche and substitute Billy Knott saw another free-kick dip jus too late to go under the bar.
Yussuff had produced a lively display and was rewarded for his endeavours with Dons fans starting to get anxious. Slid in by a Knott through ball, the former Gillingham man held off a physical challenge and kept his cool before slotting home under Roche’s body.
The Dons looked willing to press for a winner but seemed to run out of steam, and Morecambe could have snatched an underserved winner at the death but Gary Hunter blasted over when well placed.
Wimbledon travel to Cheltenham on Tuesday (21 February) before making the trip to Crewe next Saturday (25 February).
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Stuart, Yussuff, Moncur, Midson, Harrison (Jolley 61), Euell (Knott 61). Subs not used: McNaughton, Turner, Hoyte.
Goalscorer: Yussuff 75.
Booked: Euell 22, S. Moore 35.
Morecambe: Roche, Fenton, Haining (Parrish 46), Ellison, Burrow (Hunter 79), McCready, Drummond, Fleming (Alessandra 80), McDonald, Wilson, Carlton. Subs not used: Kettings, Price.
Goalscorer: McDonald 52.
Booked: Fleming 51, Wilson 86, Hunter 90.
By Rob Crane
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February 19, 2012