Grimsby Town 2 v Wimbledon 1
Wimbledon manager Terry Brown refused to rule his side out of the title race, despite seeing them surrender the lead to lose 2-1 at Grimsby Town on Saturday (5 March).
While Crawley Town were winning emphatically, the Dons were condemned to defeat by a Michael Coulson brace and now lead the table by just one point, with the West Sussex side having six games in hand.
Afterwards, Brown told the Surrey Comet: "We won’t stop believing.”
"There is little doubt in my mind that we would need to win nearly every game to give ourselves a chance now," he added. "We are still in a good position and our goal is to push them the whole way, however hard it looks now."
The afternoon had got off to a great start for the Dons, with plenty of early possession.
Danny Kedwell headed a chance wide and saw a free-kick gathered by Steve Croudson in the Grimsby goal, before Seb Brown at the other end had to be alert to deny Michael Coulson and Robert Eagle.
The Dons took the lead after 24 minutes when Rashid Yussuff burst through the Grimsby defence before prodding home for his fifth goal of the season.
James Mulley came close to doubling the lead when his 20-yard effort forced Croudson into a save, but against the run of play the home side levelled before half-time when Coulson was played in by Rob Duffy and shot home from 12 yards.
The Dons could still have gone in with a half-time lead as Steven Gregory and Christian Jolley saw efforts thwarted, but it was the home side who scored again shortly after the break, Coulson steering the ball home into the corner of the net.
That signalled the home side to come into the ascendancy and that didn’t change even when they were reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining, Mark Hudson receiving a straight red card for retaliating after a challenge by Dons substitute Lee Minshull.
Wimbledon will be looking to repay Terry Brown’s faith when they entertain Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday (12 March) but, with Crawley playing the same side in midweek, by then the Dons could be playing catch-up.
Grimsby: Croudson, Bore, Ridley, Hudson, Kempson, Atkinson, Coulson (Watt 86), Leary, Duffy (Peacock 76), Connell, Eagle (Wood 76). Subs not used: Peet, Makofo.
Goalscorer: Coulson 37, 53.
Booked: Kempson 45.
Sent-off: Hudson 71.
Wimbledon: Brown, Franks, Gwillim, Gregory, Johnson, Stuart, Mulley (S. Moore 76), Yussuff, Kedwell, Jolley (Jackson 58), Broughton (Minshull 58). Subs not used: Harris, Turner.
Goalscorer: Yussuff 24.
Booked: Franks 70, Minshull 72.
Referee: Robert Merchant (Staffordshire).
March 5, 2011