Wimbledon 1 v Rotherham 2
Jack Turner's Football League debut turned into a nightmare as the highly rated young goalkeeper was responsible for both goals conceded as Rotherham won 2-1 on Good Friday.
First the youngster allowed Ben Pringle's speculative and tame long-range effort under his arms to gift the Dons the lead.
Then, after Luke Moore had deservedly fired the Dons level, Turner went down too early and was beaten at his near post by Sam Hoskins as Rotherham snatched a late winner.
It was tough luck on the youngster who otherwise had a solid game. Indeed, responsibility for this defeat lies primarily at the feet of the Dons’ outfield players who again failed to capitalise when on top.
Turner was called into action early on, doing well, to hold on to Dale Tonge's firm strike. And Rotherham spurned another early chance when Lewis Grabban set up Pringle but he fired over when he should have done better.
Although on the back foot at that stage, the Dons still went close when a good team move was capped by George Moncur’s curling effort that went just wide.
But, just after the half hour, came the moment that had Turner clutching his head in horror. There was little threat from Pringle's speculative effort but somehow it slipped past Turner's outstretched hands and into the back of the net.
Manager Terry Brown made two half-time substitutions as he sought to propel the home side into contention, with Chris Bush replacing the injured Brett Johnson and Christian Jolley coming on for the disappointing Kieran Djilali.
And Brown's players responded, surging forward in attack. Jolley almost made an immediate impact, only to see Rotherham keeper punch the ball clear as Jack Midson was posed to head home, and from the resulting corner Sam Hatton headed over tamely when well placed.
Turner kept the Dons in it with a good save from Danny Schofield and that laid for foundations for Wimbledon’s deserved equaliser. Midson played in Luke Moore but the forward still had plenty to do, firing home from an acute angle across Taylor’s body to make it 1-1.
Rashid Yussuff, Jolley and Moore all spurned chances to make it 2-1 and, at that stage, it looked as if it would be the Dons who would go on to claim the win, especially when Moore popped up at the other end to clear Grabban’s effort off the line.
But, with the minutes counting down, the Dons were caught out. Bush was turned and struggled to make up ground against the pacey Hoskins who burst into the box and calmly lifted the ball over the advancing Turner to give the visitors an unlikely win. It was tough on Wimbledon but especially tough on Turner.
Wimbledon: Turner, Hatton, Gwillim, Wellard, Mitchel-King, Johnson (Bush 46), Yussuff (Knott 84), Moncur, Midson, L. Moore, Djilali (Jolley 46). Subs not used: Brown, Harrison.
Goalscorer: L. Moore 65.
Rotherham: R. Taylor, Tonge, Cresswell, Wood, Mullins, J. Taylor, Pringle (Hoskins 81), Schofield, Revell, Evans (Harrison 75), Grabban. Subs not used: Warrington, Newey, Cadagan.
Goalscorers: Pringle 34, Hoskins 83.
Booked: Cresswell 12.
By Rob Crane
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April 10, 2012