Dons' Run Comes To An End With Accrington Drubbing

Accrington 4 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon’s recent good run came to a juddering halt as they were emphatically beaten 4-0 at League Two bottom-side Accrington Stanley on Tuesday (19 March).

It was a below-par performance from the visitors that shatters any illusion that they can coast to Football League survival between now and the end of the season.

The Dons were on the back foot from the off as Accrington’s former England striker Francis Jeffers opened the scoring after just five minutes, curling home from 20 yards after being fed by Amine Linganzi to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

And Jeffers was on target again 14 minutes later as he beat the offside trap. Although John Sullivan saved his initial effort, Jeffers reacted quickly to head home the rebound.

The Dons continued to see a substantial amount of possession, and Alan Bennett went close with a header from a Stacy Long cross that was held by Paul Rachubka.

But hopes of a Dons revival were effectively snuffed out just after the half hour when they found themselves 3-0 down. This time it was Will Hatfield who had a simple task of converting after beating the Dons’ offside trap to latch on to a long ball.

Dons boss Neal Ardley rang the changes at half-time, replaces the Sammy Moore and Luke Moore with Jack Midson and Brennan Dickenson. And they almost got their reward when Long sent over a cross that Kevin Sainte-Luce met on the volley, but his effort hit the post with Rachubka beaten.

And it was all over just after the hour when Stanley made it 4-0. Lee Molyneux was the goalscorer this time, playing a one-two with Hatfield before driving the ball home.

The Dons were now playing for pride – and that potentially crucial goal difference – and they twice came close to getting a consolation, first when Mat Mitchel-King had a header cleared off the line following a Long corner, and then when Midson failed to convert following good approach play by Jesse Darko.

Bennett and Midson also spurned further chances, but in the end it was not to be and the Dons were left aiming to bounce back when they host Morecambe on Saturday (23 March).

Ardley told the Hounslow Chronicle: ‘Every time we have suffered a blip we have bounced back from it. After Port Vale and Chesterfield we went on a run, and we did it again after Cheltenham. That is what we have to do again.

‘We have seven games to go and we need a certain amount of points. [Defeat tonight] makes our job harder, but we have to remain positive.’

Despite this defeat and Plymouth, Torquay and Barnet all winning, the Dons remain four points clear of the drop zone as things stand.

Attendance: 2,149

Accrington: Rachubka, Murphy, Winnard, Aldred, Wilson, Boco (Lindfield 58), Joyce, Linganzi, Molyneux, Hatfield (Gray 76), Jeffers (Beattie 80). Subs not used: Dunbavin, Liddle, Barnett, Miller.

Goalscorers: Jeffers (5, 19), Hatfield (32), Molyneux (64).

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Youga, Mitchel-King, Bennett, Hussey, L. Moore (Dickenson 46), S. Moore (Midson 46), Long, Pell, Alexander, Sainte-Luce (Darko 66). Subs not used: Jaimez-Ruiz, Cummings, Yussuff, Beere.

Booked: Dickenson 86.

By Rob Crane

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March 20, 2013