Tamworth 2 v Wimbledon 5
Wimbledon rallied to win 5-2 at Tamworth on Saturday (19 February) despite at one stage throwing away a two-goal lead – and it was controversial new signing Drewe Broughton who prompted the resurgence.
Friday’s arrival of Broughton, who joined on loan from Lincoln City, prompted debate among supporters because of his previous stint with Milton Keynes Dons.
But the 32-year-old, on as a substitute, put the controversy behind him to loft home a 75th-minute goal that put the Dons back in front after a period of suicidal defending had threatened to scupper their hopes of a win.
The Dons had had by far the better of the first half but went in to the break with just a 1-0 lead. The breakthrough came in the 17th minute when Sam Hatton’s free-kick was flicked on by Danny Kedwell and, after miscuing his original attempt, James Mulley was able to capitalise on the goalkeeper’s confusion to slot home.
Kedwell came close to doubling the tally with a 20-yard chipped effort that hit the bar, and the home defence also worked strenuously to deny the Dons as they piled forward.
The second goal came early in the second period, with the home defence allowing Hatton to run and slide the ball through to Kedwell, who calmly beat Ross Atkins.
But instead of strangling the match, the Dons allowed the home side back into it. Just moments later Michael Wylde halved the deficit, and then Daniel Bradley restored parity by capitalising on a poor Brett Johnson backpass.
From seemingly being in control, the Dons were now facing up to the prospect of a draw or even worse – until Broughton’s intervention. The big striker kept his composure when the ball rebounded to his feet after Atkins saved from Kedwell, and calmly slotted home from 20-yards to restore the Dons’ lead.
His goal restored Wimbledon’s confidence and dominance, with Atkins keeping his side in it with a string of saves. But with two minutes left he was beaten from the spot by Kedwell after Mulley had been fouled.
And, on the stroke of the whistle, Rashid Yussuff was set up by Kedwell and slipped it past Atkins to finish off the scoring. It was a win that could have been far more emphatic but for the display of Atkins and Wimbledon’s period of self-destruction.
The Dons now enjoy a six-point lead at the top of the table, although Crawley will go clear at the top if they win their games in hand. Luton remain third despite a recent dip in form.
The Dons entertain Wrexham at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday (22 February) with the Welsh side in disarray amid rumours of an unpopular takeover and a 7-2 home thrashing by Gateshead on Saturday. They then host Altrincham on Saturday 26 February.
Tamworth: Atkins, Tait, Marshall, Courtney (Sheridan 86), Wylde, Mitchell (Kamara 63), Mackenzie (Farrell 63), Perry, Thomas, Bradley, Barrow. Subs not used: Smith, Wilkinson.
Goalscorers: Wylde 51, Bradley 65.
Booked: Perry 37, Wylde 39, Tait 88, Marshall 88.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, Gregory, Johnson, Stuart, Mulley, Yussuff, Kedwell, Jolley (Broughton 66), Hudson (Franks 89). Subs not used: Harris, Turner, Jackson.
Goalscorers: Mulley 18, Kedwell 50, 89, Broughton 75, Yussuff 90.
Booked: Broughton 79.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).
February 20, 2011