Millwall 2 v Wimbledon 1
A late Wimbledon fightback was not enough to salvage their Capital One Cup campaign on Tuesday night (6 August) as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at Championship side Millwall.
The Dons again started with top scorer Jack Midson on the bench, with Charlie Sheringham playing in the lone striker role against the club where he started his career.
But despite looking neat in possession, the Dons suffered a lack of goalscoring opportunities and found themselves 2-0 down midway through the second half.
It was only following the introduction of substitute Luke Moore that the Dons got going, with the forward grabbing what turned out to be a mere consolation in the dying moments of the game.
And there was still time for Sammy Moore and Midson to both go close to forcing the tie into extra time.
Afterwards, boss Neal Ardley reflected on the club's official website: "We are all a little bit disappointed. I thought we were a bit passive. We did not press together as a team and there was not enough dynamic play.
"I have told the boys that we need to have more purpose in our play with the ball, and when we finally did that with 20 minutes to go I thought we were excellent."
Despite their lack of a cutting edge, the Dons looked more than comfortable during the first period, and had an early opportunity when Alan Bennett just failed to connect with a header after Millwall keeper Stephen Bywater spilled a Callum Kennedy corner.
Just before the half hour, Ross Worner had to be alert to save from Jermaine Easter, and it was the same striker who forced another Worner save from close range 10 minutes before the break.
Although the Dons finished the first half on the front foot, they committed defensive suicide early in the second period. First the Dons were relieved to see an unmarked James Henry fire over, but then with six minutes gone Worner attempted to prevent a corner but only succeeded in presenting Andy Keogh with the opener.
The Dons now started pushing forward more adventurously, with Sheringham heading straight at Bywater from close range, but this allowed Millwall space on the counterattack.
Martyn Woolford had already been denied once by a fine Worner save before he made it 2-0 with quarter of an hour remaining, capitalising after Easter beat Bennett on the right.
Substitute Luke Moore finally got a goal for the Dons as the clock was ticking down, firing home after Sheringham flicked on a long throw, and that was followed up by a blast just wide from Sammy Moore and Midson forcing a Bywater save as the Dons threatened to come from 2-0 down to equalise.
But ultimately it wasn't to be, and the Dons now return to league action when they entertain former fans' favourite Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe side at Kingsmeadow on Saturday.
Millwall: Bywater, Smith, Malone, Abdou, Robinson, Beevers, Henry (Martin 75), Bailey (Wright 71), Keogh (McDonald 78), Easter, Woolford. Subs not used: Feeney, N’Guessan, Osborne, Gerrard.
Goalscorers: Keogh (52), Woolford (76).
Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Kennedy, S. Moore, Frampton, Bennett, Francomb (Arthur 56), Sweeney (Midson 56), Sheringham, Porter (L. Moore 70), Pell. Subs not used: Smith, Fenlon, Strutton, Brown.
Goalscorer: L. Moore (90).
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August 7, 2013