Accrington 3 v Wimbledon 4
A brace from both Dannie Bulman and Lyle Taylor saw Wimbledon’s topsy-turvy season continue as they won 4-3 at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night (20 October).
Just days after losing 2-5 at home to Morecambe, the Dons were again involved in a seven-goal match – but this time with a more positive outcome.
But it didn’t look like being that way as they fell two goals behind in the opening ten minutes against an Accrington side on an impressive run of form.
First, with five minutes on the clock, Sean McConville’s free-kick was blocked by the wall but rebounded to the same player who lofted it over the advancing Wimbledon defence to Billy Kee, who beat debutant on-loan keeper Ben Wilson from close range.
Second, with 10 minutes on the clock, Wimbledon’s frailty when defending set pieces was again exposed as McConville’s free-kick from the corner of the penalty area was delivered to Kee at the far post and he had the simple task of heading home.
But Wimbledon displayed some previously much-missed fighting spirit as they pulled it level within a further 15 minutes.
First, Jonathan Meades’ long throw was headed clear by an Accrington Stanley defender straight to Bulman in the D of the penalty area, and the midfielder promptly blasted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-2.
Second, Bulman was again involved as he set free George Francomb on the right touchline and his low cross was converted at the near post by Taylor.
But that still wasn’t it for the first-half action as the home side regained the advantage with nine minutes still to play. Terry Gornell was fed the ball with his back to goal but did well to turn and play in the advancing McConville whose shot beat Wilson at his near post to make it 2-3 to Accrington.
The Dons equalised again on the stroke of half time as Wilson’s kick was flicked on by Bayo Akinfenwa to Taylor. Although Taylor was forced to halt his forward run by the recovering home defenders, he delivered a perfect square ball to the surging Bulman who again made no mistake with an emphatic finish from the edge of the box.
Amazingly, there was still time in the first period for Barry Fuller to force a save from home keeper Jason Mooney. Inevitably the second period failed to live up to the goalscoring standards of that breathless first half, but a single further goal was enough to seal victory for the Dons.
Fuller picked up the ball midway in the Accrington half and slotted it through to Taylor in the box. Although Taylor’s first touch as he turned his marker to face goal made the ball bounce up, when it dropped he lashed home an emphatic half-volley for his second of the night and Wimbledon’s fourth.
Afterwards Dons coach Simon Bassey told BBC Radio London: ‘To be two down after 10 minutes [following] two attempts on goal is certainly not what we planned and not what we worked on.
‘Full credit to the boys. They showed terrific spirit to come back and I thought we always looked a threat going forward.
‘From a coach’s point of view, it was probably a living nightmare at times. For a neutral, I’m sure you’ll go away and think what a fantastic game.’
The Dons travel to strugglers York City on Saturday (24 October) before hosting Hartlepool United on the final day of the month.
Accrington Stanley: Mooney, Halliday, Wright, Winnard (Proctor 45 (McCartan 82)), Pearson, Mingoia, Windass, Conneely, McConville, Kee, Gornell (Bruna 45). Subs not used: Etheridge, Barry, Hazeldine, Mohamed.
Goalscorers: Kee 5, 10, McConville 36.
Booked: Gornell 45.
Wimbledon: Wilson, Fuller, Robinson, Meades, Ajayi, Rigg, Bulman, Reeves, Francomb, Taylor (Azeez 84), Akinfenwa (Elliott 73). Subs not used: Kennedy, Beere, Osborne, McDonnell, Toonga.
Goalscorers: Bulman 19, 44, Taylor 25, 64.
Booked: Fuller 90.