Wimbledon 0 v Scunthorpe 0
Wimbledon face a tricky replay at Scunthorpe following this 0-0 FA Cup First Round draw at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (12 November).
With the winners facing a Second Round trip to Bradford City, the Dons will be boosted by this performance which, despite lacking goals, promised a return to form for Terry Brown's men.
Even the early loss of Kieran Djilali - withdrawn after a 12th-minute hamstring strain - couldn't knock the Dons out of their stride against their opponents, who were a Championship club last season.
And their quality forced the Dons to be alert from the off, with stalwart defending seeing off the visitors' initial forays.
The closest they came to a goal was when Chris Dagnall was played in by Nicky Ajose but, after Dagnall rounded Seb Brown in the Dons goal, solid defending by the back-to-his-best Brett Johnson snuffled out the opening.
While the Dons continued to look shot-shy, they were at least creating more openings than in recent weeks. Most notable was when Christian Jolley cut in from the left flank, beating three men, and played in Rashid Yussuff but the midfielder's shot was comparatively easy for Sam Slocombe to gather.
And the threat continued when Sam Hatton saw his free-kick whizz just inches past the corner of upright and bar as the end-to-end nature of the game continued.
The Dons pressed further in the second period and came closest when Max Porter's deflected drive fell kindly to Jolley, but the forward somehow failed to make contact with the ball and the chance went begging.
As the game progressed towards its conclusion, the visitors slowly started reimposing themselves on proceedings, with Brown forced to make good saves from Mark Duffy (twice), Bobby Grant, Michael O'Connor and Ajose.
Brown denied Grant a further time as the visitors continued to press, but the Dons could still have won it as Charles Ademeno made contact with Jolley's cross but his diving header could only steer the ball wide of the far post.
Wimbledon are now unbeaten in four games but all four have been drawn, and Terry Brown will know his team have to rediscover their form in front of goal if they're to have a chance of winning the replay on Tuesday 22 November.
Before then, the Dons host Swindon Town in league action on Saturday 19 November.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Johnson, Stuart, Bush, S. Moore, Porter, Djilali (Jackson 12), Yussuff (Wellard 84), Midson (Ademeno 77), Jolley. Subs not used: Turner, Mulley, L. Moore, Minshull.
Booked: Stuart 80.
Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Wright, Nolan, Togwell, Nelson, O'Connor, Dagnall (Thompson 82), Duffy, Grant, Canavan, Ajose. Subs not used: Byrne, Robertson, Norwood, Wint, Palmer, Johnstone.
Booked: Dagnall 16, Nelson 39.
By Rob Crane
www.wimbledonsw19.com are the proud sponsors of Marcus Gayle's away kit
November 13, 2011