Morecambe 1 v Wimbledon 1
Gritty Wimbledon denied Morecambe the chance of going top of League Two by holding them to a 1-1 draw on Saturday (19 October).
The Dons picked up a creditable point following a run of recent poor results thanks to going ‘back to basics’, dropping out-of-form striker Jack Midson and bringing Peter Sweeney in to bolster the midfield.
Manager Neal Ardley told BBC London 94.9: ‘After a spell of a point from nine games, you can’t come in gung-ho against a team unbeaten in eight. We had to come up with a game plan and implement it and we did, which was very pleasing.
‘We limited them to a few chances and, after going a goal down, we fought back well and we could have even nicked one late on.’
Harry Pell had already spurned one half chance before the hosts left Dons fans fearing the worst as they took the lead after just eight minutes courtesy of Kevin Ellison.
There seemed to be little threat with the Morecambe striker marshalled down by the corner flag, but he cut inside Jim Fenlon and charged infield before blasting the ball home into the near top corner to make it 1-0.
The Dons were almost back on terms when Michael Smith set George Porter free down the right-hand flank. Luke Moore met his cross but the ball hit a post before being scrambled clear by the Morecambe defence.
But the equaliser did come, albeit not until soon after the restart. Porter saw his initial low cross to the near post blocked but, when the ball came back to him, he calmly looped a ball up to the far post where the incoming Michael Smith headed home to make it 1-1.
Smith went close to a second soon afterwards when Alan Bennett headed down a deeply played free kick, but the on-loan Charlton man’s overhead kick went just wide of the post.
Alex Kenyon nearly put the hosts ahead again but his header from a Ryan Williams free-kick was just wide, and then with the rain teeming down Morecambe were nearly gifted a second when Ellison’s harmless-looking shot deflected off the sliding Bennett, with Ross Worner grateful to see the ball bounce into his arms.
Harry Pell did have one late chance that went just wide, but overall the Dons will be satisfied with a point from a tricky-looking fixture after a miserable October so far.
They will be hoping to maintain that improvement when they visit Hartlepool United on Tuesday (22 October) before hosting Oxford United at Kingsmeadow on the Saturday.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Threlfall, Drummond, Hughes, Parrish, Fleming, Williams (Diagne 74), Sampson (Kenyon 37), Amond (Mwasile 85), Ellison. Subs not used: Bell, McGee, Arestidou.
Goalscorer: Ellison 8.
Booked: Drummond 45, Threlfall 62.
Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller (Kennedy 38), Fenlon, Sweeney, Bennett, Weston, Pell, S. Moore, Smith, Porter, L. Moore (Sainte-Luce 74). Subs not used: Francomb, Midson, Brown, Beere, Fayers.
Goalscorer: Smith 52.
Booked: Pell 45, Smith 48, Fenlon 57.
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October 19, 2013