Akinfenwa fires a blank as Dons draw

Cambridge 0 v Wimbledon 0

Adebayo Akinfenwa missed his second consecutive penalty as the Dons played out a 0-0 draw at Cambridge United on Tuesday night (24 February).

And the Dons were grateful to keeper James Shea who pulled off a good save to deny Cambridge from their own penalty kick as both sides missed out from the spot.

It was all change for the Dons as they made no fewer than four changes from the weekend’s win over Luton, Tom Beere, Sammy Moore, Adebayo Azeez and Jack Smith all coming in at the expense of Sean Rigg, Dannie Bulman, Craig Tanner and Callum Kennedy.

But that didn’t stop the visitors from starting positively, with Beere having an early goalbound effort blocked following an Alfie Potter cross and Akinfenwa also seeing an effort gathered by Cambridge keeper Chris Dunn.

Although Matt Harrold set up Robbie Simpson for a rare Cambridge attempt on goal, it was the Dons who continued to have the bulk of the game, with Akinfenwa again going close after a Jake Reeves corner.

But the home side’s dormancy didn’t last forever and around the half hour mark James Shea was twice forced into action, saving first from Simpson and then from Robbie Coulson’s looping header. And Dave Winfield also had to be alert to steer a Liam Hughes effort off the line.

Akinfenwa’s golden opportunity came moments into the second period after Azeez was fouled in the box by Josh Coulson. But like his recent effort against Newport, Akinfenwa’s effort again lacked power and Dunn was able to pull off the save.

Fifteen minutes later, Cambridge had their own opportunity from the spot after Sammy Moore was adjudged to have handled an attempted cross. But Shea was again in fine form, diving full length to his left to palm away Simpson’s fiercely struck effort.

Beere again went close with 11 minutes remaining, meeting a cross from Potter at the far post, only to see Coulson clear off the line. And that miss could have proven costly in the closing stages as Cambridge’s Sullay Kaikai somehow contrived to miss a gaping goal after Shea had made a rare mistake by missing a cross.

‘Everyone in the dressing room is disappointed,’ manager Neal Ardley told the club’s official website afterwards. ‘I thought that in open play we were much the better team.

‘I cannot fault them [the players] and the only thing I was disappointed with is that we did not get a goal from one of the numerous great positions that we got ourselves in.’

The Dons will get a chance to sharpen their killer instinct when they visit Hartlepool United on Saturday (28 February) before hosting Southend United at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday 3 March.

Cambridge Utd: Dunn, Tait, Miller, Coulson, Taylor, Donaldson, Champion, Hughes (Dunk 64), Mendez-Laing, Simpson (Kaikai 65), Harrold. Subs not used: Slew, Norris, Nelson, Ball, Morrissey.

Booked: Harrold 42, Kaikai 90.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Winfield, Azeez (Connolly 85), Smith, Potter (Bulman 85), Moore, Reeves, Beere (Rigg 76), Akinfenwa, Oshilaja. Subs not used: Kennedy, McDonnell, Tanner, Fitzpatrick.

Booked: Azeez 72.

Att: 4,259.

By Rob Crane

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February 25, 2015