Bury 1 v Wimbledon 1
Recalled Luke Moore scored the crucial goal as Wimbledon claimed a point by drawing 1-1 at Bury on Saturday (23 November).
The former Ebbsfleet man stepped into the starting line-up to replace the suspended Harry Pell and made the most of his opportunity by latching on to a Michael Smith flick after 66 minutes before dispatching a solid shot into the back of the net.
And manager Neal Ardley was full of praise for the forward, telling the club’s official website: ‘There is no-one more honest and hard working for the team than Luke Moore.
‘I left him out [of recent starting line-ups] to freshen him up, but Luke is a fantastic player to have in the squad. Whatever position he plays in he will do a fantastic job for the team.’
This was a hard-earned point on a sticky pitch that made the Dons’ usual passing game difficult to achieve. But they could have been ahead in the opening minutes after a gift of a chance was presented to them by the home side.
Luke Moore had already seen one effort half-volleyed wide before a moment of madness by Bury defender William Edjenguele. The centre-back made great play of shielding an underhit backpass from the lurking Michael Smith but was completely oblivious to the presence of George Porter, who romped behind him and onto the loose ball.
But Porter’s first touch was heavy and allowed keeper Brian Jensen to charge out to smother at his feet, saving the French defender’s blushes. And Edjenguele redeemed himself later when he cleared Smith’s header from a Porter cross off the line.
Bury started coming into the contest as Wimbledon’s bright start faded, and Danny Hylton’s header provoked a good fingertip save from his former Aldershot colleague Ros Worner as the game stayed goalless.
But Hylton wasn’t to be denied and, shortly after the half hour, he gave the home side a barely deserved 1-0 lead, leaping to meet Dean Howell’s cross and send a looping header over Worner and into the back of the net.
Smith had two good opportunities either side of the half-time break to claw the game back to a state of equilibrium but spurned them both, sending one into the side netting and the other into the hands of Jensen.
Frustrated by his team’s inability to get behind the Bury defence, Ardley withdrew Kaid Mohamed just after the hour, replacing him with Jack Midson and switching to a three-man defence to try and exert more pressure up the pitch. And just a minute later the Dons were level.
There was nothing particularly flash about the goal: Worner’s long upfield kick was flicked on by Smith towards Luke Moore, who capitalised on the extra time afforded to him by Nathan Cameron’s slip to bury the ball past Jensen and make it 1-1.
The Dons had chances to make it an even more profitable afternoon but ultimately will be pleased with a point from a potentially tricky encounter, extending their unbeaten mini-run to three league games without defeat.
They face fellow play-off chasers Dagenham & Redbridge at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday (26 November) before travelling to strugglers Bristol Rovers on Saturday 30 November.
Bury: Jensen, Beeley, Cameron, Edjenguele, Howell, Jones, Proctor, Soares, Sedgwick (Harrad 86), Nardiello, Hylton. Subs not used: Hinds, Miller, Holden, Rooney, Reindorf, Lainton.
Goalscorer: Hylton 35.
Booked: Proctor 54.
Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Frampton, Bennett, Kennedy, S. Moore, Sweeney, Porter (Fenlon 80), L. Moore (Sheringham 86), Smith, Mohamed (Midson 64). Subs not used: Francomb, Sainte-Luce, Brown, Weston.
Goalscorer: L. Moore
Booked: Bennett 22, L. Moore 39.
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November 25, 2013