Dons Denied By Last-Gasp Tranmere Equaliser

Tranmere 1 v Wimbledon 1

Wimbledon were denied their first away win of 2015 by a Tranmere equaliser that came deep into injury time as the two teams drew 1-1 on Saturday (28 March).

The Dons – taken charge of by assistant boss Neil Cox while manager Neal Ardley recovers from a hip operation – were leading through Bayo Akinfenwa’s 15th goal of the season before being undone by the hosts’ in the fourth minute of added-on time.

‘It was a good team performance,’ Cox told the club’s official website afterwards, ‘but we are disappointed not to come away with the win.

‘The boys worked hard. We closed them down and tried to play when we had the ball, but we have ended up drawing the game after a great finish [by Tranmere] at the end.’

The Dons were almost unchanged from the previous week’s win over Portsmouth, with Tom Beere’s return to the starting line up at the expense of Alfie Potter the only change.

The hosts started brightly as they sought points in their relegation battle, with Ross Worner saving from debutant George Green – who arrived on loan from Everton during the week – and Barry Fuller alert to make an early clearance.

But Wimbledon started coming into it and Beere fed Craig Tanner, whose shot from a narrow angle was held by Peter Brezovan, while the Tranmere custodian was also called into action to palm behind Sean Rigg’s long-range effort.

The Dons took the lead just before the half hour mark when Akinfenwa challenged for a Worner clearance on the edge of the box before turning to half-volley the ball towards goal, the shot taking a deflection that deceived Brezovan to find the back of the net.

A tame Janoi Donacien effort was all that Tranmere were able to muster in response before the break, but just seconds after the restart Adam Dugdale was left unmarked from a Green corner only to head wide.

Brezovan was again called into action when Reeves fashioned a chance for Beere, only for the midfielder’s drive to be claimed by the Tranmere keeper, but slowly the visitors were forced deeper into their own half.

Worner saved to deny Green and Max Power flashed an effort wide, and although the Dons had a penalty claim when Rigg tumbled in the box they were also relieved to see Steve Jennings fire off target from close range.

But Wimbledon were denied deep into stoppage time. Green picked up a short free-kick and ran along the edge of the penalty box before firing home a left-footed effort that gave Worner no chance to make it 1-1.

There was still time for Wimbledon to be denied a penalty shout after Ade Azeez tumbled in the box – ‘a definite penalty’ according to Cox – but a last-gasp restoration of their advantage wasn’t to be.

The Dons host Northampton Town at Kingsmeadow on Good Friday before travelling to Dagenham & Redbridge on Easter Monday (both 3pm kick offs).

Tranmere: Brezovan, Donacien, Ihiekwe, Dugdale, Ridehalgh (Molyneux 84), Myrie-Williams, Power, Jennings, Green, Odejayi, Donnelly (Hume 64). Subs not used: Holmes, Laird, Kirby, Ramsbottom, Shuker.

Goalscorer: Green 90.

Booked: Donnelly 63, Green 94, Hume 95.

Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Goodman, Oshilaja, Smith (Harrison 18), Moore, Beere, Reeves, Rigg (Potter 86), Akinfenwa, Tanner (Azeez 82). Subs not used: Phillips, McDonnell, Gallagher, Agyei.

Goalscorer: Akinfenwa 29.

Booked: Rigg 52, Akinfenwa 71, Goodman 76, Moore 89.

Att: 5,592.

By Rob Crane

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March 29, 2015