Bury 1 v Wimbledon 2
Jon Meades scored in injury time to snatch a 2-1 win for Wimbledon as they visited a very wet Bury on Tuesday night (18 October).
Meades rose unmarked in the middle of the penalty area to head home a Jake Reeves corner and extend Wimbledon’s remarkable run to just one defeat in 13 matches in all competitions.
Torrential rain made conditions in the first period tricky for both sides, with standing water preventing the ball from rolling freely and causing players to slip.
‘We needed to make sure that we covered each other because there was always going to be mistakes in there,’ said manager Neal Ardley on the club website afterwards.
And Ardley revealed that Meades’ goal was reward for the left-back battling through injury to pull on the shirt.
‘[Meades] has been in agony every week. At the moment he can barely walk in and around the training ground with bad calves and bad ankles. It’s one of those situations we’re trying to manage but he is going out there every week and putting himself through it.’
The Dons started with Tyrone Barnett recalled in place of Tom Elliott, and the big striker nearly made an early impact when he powered through the puddles and defenders only to see his shot deflected wide.
And Paul Robinson was just inches away from connecting with one of a succession of early Reeves corners as Wimbledon made the early running.
But the home side took the lead in the 27th minute when James Vaughan got a toe to the ball fractionally ahead of Robinson, drawing a foul from the defender in the Dons’ box. Neil Danns stepped up to the spot-kick and shot home despite James Shea diving the right way.
Moments later the Dons were indebted to Barry Fuller whose block prevented Danns from grabbing a quick-fire double.
Wimbledon were soon back on the attack and they got their reward six minutes before the break. Andy Barcham turned one way and then the other to bamboozle Kelvin Etuhu and then chipped in a cross to where Lyle Taylor had evaded the markers to head home from close range unchallenged.
There was still time before half-time for Zeli Ismail to fire over for the home side and for Barcham to see his own shot deflected wide, but the teams went in level.
The rain eased off in the second period but Ardley’s men didn’t follow suit, with Dean Parrett firing in an effort that Bury keeper Ben Williams took two attempts to grasp.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic and Danny Mayor twice went close from 20 yards as the home side enjoyed their best period of the game midway through the half.
Wimbledon continued to go for the win themselves, though, and it was during a flurry of late corners that they were rewarded with the match-winning goal as Meades got between two defenders to head home and spark celebrations among the 191 Dons fans who braved the midweek journey and weather.
The Dons travel to Peterborough on Saturday (22 October) and then host Bradford (29 October) before repeating this trip to Bury in the FA Cup first round on 5 November.
Bury: Williams, Etuhu, Kay, Maher, Leigh, Ismail (Walker 62), Danns (Tutte 62), Soares, Mayor, Vaughan, Hope (Miller 67). Subs not used: Dudley, Burgess, Rachubka, Harker.
Goalscorer: Danns 27 (pen).
Booked: Tutte 68.
Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Robinson, Charles, Meades, Parrett, Bulman (Egan 72), Reeves, Barcham, Barnett (Elliott 75), Taylor (Poleon 72). Subs not used: Nightingale, Whelpdale, McDonnell, Owens.
Goalscorers: Taylor 39, Meades 91.
Booked: Robinson 26.
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October 19, 2016