Newport 1 v Wimbledon 2
Two goals in the last five minutes from Charlie Sheringham and Kevin Sainte-Luce snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as Wimbledon won 2-1 at Newport County on Tuesday (25 February).
The Dons looked to be on course for their fifth defeat in a row following a howler by Ross Worner that gifted the home side the lead, before the Dons’ deadly duo turned things around at the death.
Worner was left red-faced after going up to gather an aerial ball above the heads of Will Antwi and Rene Howe, only to be spun around by some physical contact that resulted in him palming the ball into the back of his own net.
But with time running out it was Sheringham – with his first League Two goal for the Dons – and Sainte-Luce – scoring the Dons’ 1000th goal since re-forming in 2002 – spared the keeper’s embarrassment.
Afterwards, boss Neal Ardley told the club’s official website: ‘We thoroughly deserved the win tonight. The character we showed was typical Wimbledon, but we certainly don’t do things easily.
‘Charlie has been desperate to play and he came and saw me yesterday. He’s looked lively in training and I know he will score goals.
‘We know that Kevin Sainte-Luce can be anything. Kevin is an impact player and at the moment that is what he’s giving us until we can turn him into a better footballer.’
The Dons started this match on their back foot, with the pace of Chris Zebroski and former Don Christian Jolley causing them problems at the back and forcing Antwi to pull off a crucial early interception.
But the Dons started to come into the game and forced a smart save from home keeper Elliott Parish when Sammy Moore’s free-kick was only partially cleared and fell to the recalled Luke Moore, who saw his effort through a crowded goal area go into the hands of the keeper.
In the second period, Danny Hylton saw a header off target while Jack Midson twice miscontrolled when through on goal, while Jolley again threatened at the other end.
But the Dons fell behind when Howe, who had been on the pitch for just a couple of minutes, challenged Antwi for a high ball pumped into the Dons’ box by Harry Worley, resulting in Worner’s unfortunate own-goal as he attempted to claim the ball above their heads.
That prompted Ardley to change his strikeforce around, taking off both Midson and Hylton, although it was Worner who was soon in action again to spoon a free-kick from Adam Chapman over the bar when it threatened to drop into the back of the net.
But the Dons’ efforts were finally rewarded with five minutes remaining when Sammy Moore’s corner wasn’t cleared and fell to Sheringham who made no mistake, prodding home to make it 1-1.
And minutes later the travelling fans’ journey home suddenly seemed even better when Sainte-Luce cut in from the left, shimmied past his man and blasted a diagonal effort across the goal and into the roof of the net to give the Dons what just moments before had seemed an unlikely 2-1 victory.
The Dons are on their travels again this weekend when they travel to Fleetwood Town before hosting York City on Saturday 8 March.
Newport County: Parish, Willmott, Burge, Anthony, Worley, Yakubu, Sandell, Chapman, Jolley (Howe 63), Zebroski (Jeffers 63), Porter (Minshull 87). Subs not used: Pipe, Crow, Jackson, Naylor.
Goalscorer: Worner (o.g.) 65.
Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Fenlon (Sainte-Luce 75), Jones, Antwi, Bennett, S. Moore, Collins, Midson (Sheringham 68), Hylton (Wyke 68), L. Moore. Subs not used: Pell, Arthur, Brown, Nicholson.
Goalscorers: Sheringham 85, Sainte-Luce 88.
Booked: Antwi 78.
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February 25, 2014