Dons Hold Firm To Earn A Point From Millwall Trip

Millwall 0 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon earned a creditable point at Millwall as they drew 0-0 on Tuesday (November 22), despite playing the final 15 minutes with 10 men after Jon Meades’ sending off.

The left-back was dismissed after being shown a second yellow card for pulling back Fred Onyedinma as the forward burst towards the box, but the tussle appeared to be little more than a harmless 50-50 mutual waving of arms.

The decision was one of several by referee Graham Horwood that left Dons manager Neal Ardley perplexed, with a further booking for Barry Fuller meaning that his side go into Saturday’s home game against Fleetwood Town with both full backs suspended.

‘I thought the referee was poor tonight,’ Ardley told the club’s website. ‘Barry got booked for winning the ball in a 50/50 and it was shoulder to shoulder, but he gets a free-kick given against him.

‘In a London derby, you are going to end up with eight men if you referee the game like that.’

Wimbledon started this match with plenty of possession, although they failed to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities. The closest they came was when Chris Robertson shot over the crossbar after a cross was only half cleared.

But Millwall came more into the game as the first half progressed, with James Shea saving from Shane Ferguson, who also saw Paul Robinson scramble clear a drilled low cross, while Shaun Williams fired over the bar.

Both sides continued to toil in the second period as chances were at a premium, although David Worrall’s free-kick for the hosts forced another save from Shea.

For the Dons it was Fuller who opted to try his luck, firing in a 30-yard effort that Millwall keeper Jordan Archer couldn’t hold, but substitute Chris Whelpdale was just unable to contort himself enough to get his effort from the rebound on target.

Meades’ dismissal prompted the Dons to focus more on defensive resilience, introducing Seth Owens at the expense of Dom Poleon, and they resolutely held firm. Indeed, had substitute Tom Beere’s shot not been too close to Archer, the Dons might have snatched all three points.

‘It was a poor game of football that they probably edged,’ Ardley commented. ‘We did not pass the ball well enough or retain it, which was surprising for us with the form we’ve been in. I thought there would be a bit more of a swagger, but there wasn’t and we seemed nervous.’

Ardley will be hoping for a return to their goalscoring form when they face a tricky encounter against fellow play-off chasers Fleetwood Town at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (26 November).

After that it’s back on the FA Cup trail as they face a televised trip to National League North side Curzon Ashton, a midday kick-off on Sunday 4 December.

Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Webster, Craig, J. Martin, Worrall, Williams, Thompson (Butcher 80), Ferguson, Smith, O’Brien (Onyedinma 67). Subs not used: Cummings, Mbulu, Abdou, Pavey, King.

Booked: Thompson 33, J. Martin 71, Craig 82.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Robertson, Robinson, Meades, Francomb (Beere 72), Bulman, Reeves, Taylor (Whelpdale 65), Elliott, Poleon (Owens 76). Subs not used: Nightingale, Barnett, McDonnell, Egan.

Booked: Meades 51, 74, Fuller 88.

Sent off: Meades 74.

Att: 8,614.

By Rob Crane

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November 21, 2016