Shea Heroics Ensure A Point As Dons Draw A Blank At Oldham

Oldham 0 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon had the upper hand in this clash but were ultimately in debt to goalkeeper James Shea for securing a point as they drew 0-0 at strugglers Oldham on Saturday (12 November).

Shea was on hand to pull off a number of good saves throughout the match to keep his team mates in it after they failed to capitalise on several goalscoring opportunities.

‘We controlled spells of the game,’ manager Neal Ardley observed afterwards. ‘We had a good energy about us and we had a couple of really good chances.

‘They bombarded us a bit [in the second half] and we ended up needing a wonderful save from James Shea to get us out of trouble.’

The Dons started brightly, with midfield duo Jake Reeves and Dean Parrett both having early attempts on goal. In contrast, it wasn’t until the 24th minute that the hosts had their first opportunity, Shea saving from Billy McKay after approach play by Cameron Dummigan and Ryan McLaughlin.

If anything, that spurred the Dons on to extra vigour, with Lyle Taylor shooting narrowly off target before releasing Reeves for a one-on-one that Oldham goalkeeper Connor Ripley did well to thwart.

Parrett ruffled home feathers with another attempt that curled just over the bar as Wimbledon continued to press forward.

But it was Shea to the rescue again just before the break when McLaughlin crossed from the right and Lee Erwin got to the ball at the far post, forcing Shea into action to deny his header from the edge of the goal area.

The pattern continued in the second period, with Taylor’s effort from a Tom Elliott cross being deflected wide, Elliott only narrowly failing to get on the end of a Reeves cross and Parrett firing a free-kick narrowly over.

As Wimbledon continued to press, with Chris Whelpdale firing a long-range effort that Ripley did well to hold, the home side began to fashion more chances on the counter.

First a quick McLaughlin free-kick found Ryan Flynn in space, prompting Shea from his line to save, and then the goalkeeper was in action again to thwart a fiercely struck drive from Ollie Banks.

But the Dons held on to maintain their record of being unbeaten on their travels since the opening day of the league season

Ardley’s men turn their attention to the FA Cup with their first round replay against Bury at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday 15 November, before hosting the same side in league action on Saturday. A busy period for the Dons continues when they visit Millwall on Tuesday 22 November.

Oldham: Ripley, Dummigan, P. Clarke, Burgess, Dunne, McLaughlin, Fane, Banks, Flynn, McKay (Ladapo 66), Erwin (Croft 53). Subs not used: Law, B. Wilson, Winchester, Kettings, Osei.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Robinson, Robertson, Francomb, Parrett (Poleon 78), Bulman, Reeves, Taylor, Elliott (Barnett 85), Barcham (Whelpdale 74). Subs not used: Nightingale, McDonnell, Egan, Owens.

Booked: Reeves 83.

Att: 3,856.

By Rob Crane

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November 15, 2016