Scunthorpe United 1 v Wimbledon 2
Wimbledon earned a thoroughly deserved 2-1 win at promotion-chasing Scunthorpe on Tuesday (28 February) to make it valuable back-to-back wins.
Following on from the weekend’s win against Walsall, the Dons travelled to a Scunthorpe side in second place but on a run of five matches without a win.
And the Dons responded in style, deservedly taking the three points to help move them back up the table away from the teams hovering above the relegation trapdoor.
The Dons employed a 3-5-2 formation and their play delighted manager Neal Ardley.
‘We only had yesterday [Monday] to do some work on the change of system,’ Ardley told DonsPlayer afterwards. ‘Credit to the players: they have taken the information on and they have executed it brilliantly.
‘Everyone played well, but Will Nightingale came into the team and he had an outstanding game. George Francomb and Andy Barcham were up and down as wing-backs and they both did great jobs.’
Wimbledon’s dominance was such that the official statistics gave them almost 60 per cent possession. They certainly smothered the home side during the first half, with Scunthorpe not having an effort until shortly before the break when Craig Davies headed wide.
In contrast, Wimbledon had a third-minute effort from Dean Parrett that went over and a Lyle Taylor attempt blocked as they made the running.
The Dons continued to defend stoutly after the interval and deservedly took the lead on the hour. There was a slice of luck as Dom Poleon dropped a shoulder to beat his man and deliver a low cross from the goal-line. Parrett seemed to get the ball stuck under his feet but he did enough to bundle it over the line.
Stephen Dawson spurned an almost-immediate opportunity to draw the hosts level, and nine minutes after their first goal the Dons extended their lead.
This time Poleon was the finisher, Tom Soares’ lofted ball forward falling to him on the edge of the area and he produced a tidy finish from inside the D to nestle the ball inside the left-hand post.
Five minutes later Scunthorpe were back in it, leading scorer Josh Morris seeing his free-kick deflect home.
And Wimbledon’s defence had to hold tight as substitutes Scott Wiseman and Kevin van Veen both went close to a late equaliser, but ultimately the Dons held on to win.
The Dons travel to Bolton Wanderers this Saturday (4 March) before successive home matches against Northampton (11 March) and Milton Keynes (14 March).
Scunthorpe: Daniels, Clarke (Wiseman 73), Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Morris, Bishop (Crooks 63), Dawson, Holmes, Madden, Davies (van Veen 63). Subs not used: Anyon, Hopper, Goode, Toney.
Goalscorer: Morris 74.
Booked: Mirfin 7.
Wimbledon: Shea, Robinson, Charles, Nightingale, Francomb (Fitzpatrick 79), Soares, Parrett, Reeves, Barcham, Taylor (Elliott 62), Poleon (Bulman 82). Subs not used: Kelly, Barnett, McDonnell, Robertson.
Goalscorers: Parrett 60, Poleon 69.
Booked: Barcham 37, Taylor 57, Parrett 73, Soares 82.
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March 2, 2017