Firm defensive display earns AFC Wimbledon a valuable point at Oldham

Oldham 0 v 0 AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night (21 November) – but it was an unenterprising display that gave supporters little to cheer.

It was the hosts who enjoyed the upper hand throughout, while the Dons failed to produce a single shot on target throughout the entire game. In contrast, Oldham peppered the Wimbledon goal but most of their attempts were off target, with George Long called upon on four occasions to demonstrate his good form by pulling off a save.

The Dons started brightly enough, again playing two up front, but once Lyle Taylor skewed an early effort over the bar it all petered out, with too much of the play going through central midfielders Tom Soares and Liam Trotter rather than the more potent threat of Andy Barcham and Harry Forrester.

A half-time switch to a 3-5-2 formation did briefly threaten a revival as suddenly the Dons enjoyed play around the Oldham area, but that threat was extinguished when a clearly disgruntled Cody McDonald was withdrawn, leaving Taylor to plough a frustrated lone furrow up front.

Manager Neal Ardley was predictably pleased with the point, telling iFollow Dons: ‘We lacked that bit of zip and energy about us and due to that we ended up doing more defending than we would have liked. They [Oldham] will feel they have dropped two points and rightly so because they were the better team, but we showed real grit and character. We fought hard for the club and got a clean sheet.’

Eoin Doyle shot wide for the hosts after a Gevaro Nepomuceno pass and Craig Davies had an effort ruled out for offside, while Doyle, Davies and Cameron Dummingan all also went close.

Long also saved from Anthony Gerrard and Doyle, while Barry Fuller produced an excellent last-ditch tackle to deny Aaron Holloway. Jack Byrne also fired off target, and Oldham’s litany of chances ended when Doyle headed straight at Long.

The Dons will be hopeful of a more positive display when they entertain Walsall at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (25 November), before travelling to Bury the following weekend.

Oldham: Placide, Dummigan, Gerrard, Bryan, Hunt (Duffus 86), Byrne, Fane, Green, Nepomuceno (Menig 71), Doyle, Davies (Holloway 71). Subs not used: Brian Wilson, Ben Wilson, Omrani, Clarke.

Booked: Bryan 14.

Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Charles, Oshilaja, Francomb (Robinson 83), Forrester, Trotter, Soares (Meades 45), Barcham, Taylor, McDonald (Hartigan 66). Subs not used: Abdou, Sibbick, McDonnell, Kalambayi.

Booked: Long 93.

Att: 3,169.

By Rob Crane

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November 23, 2017