Magic Johnson Puts Dons On Verge Of Play-offs

Wimbledon 2 v Barrow 0

Defender Brett Johnson was the unlikely goalscoring inspiration as Wimbledon beat Barrow 2-0 at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (2 April) to move to within sniffing distance of a confirmed play-off place.

The centre-back opened the scoring just after the half hour when he surged forward from the back and exchanged a neat one-two with Luke Moore before slotting home from 18 yards.

It was a lead that the Dons deserved, but few would have predicted it arriving in such accomplished style from a man more used to denying the opposition than carving open opportunities for himself.

Barrow's Louis Almond had had an early effort that flew just past the post, but apart from a spell in the final ten minutes the visitors rarely threatened and it was Wimbledon who comfortably looked the better side.

But it wasn't until Rashid Yussuff got the Dons’ second goal with a well-worked free-kick seven minutes from the end that the points were secured. The industrious midfielder had a Sam Hatton free-kick played square to him and fired home from long-range past a surprised Clark Masters.

Masters had earlier produced a wonder save to deny Hatton a goal, climbing high to his right to palm away a free-kick that was perfectly placed to head into top corner of the goal.

And, but for some wayward finishing from Moore, who shot over when forced to stretch to reach Danny Kedwell’s pass, and Yussuff, who blasted inches wide after racing clear in a one-on-one with Masters, the scoreline could have been as emphatic as the performance.

The Dons' win combined with results elsewhere to mean that, if results also go their way in midweek and next Saturday (9 April), the Dons could clinch a play-off place with victory at Cambridge United.

Wimbledon manager Terry Brown told the Surrey Comet: "It's starting to look quite good for the play-offs now but we're not there yet and we will keep having to work hard if we want to be."

Attendance: 3,264

Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, Gregory (Stuart 87), Yakubu, Johnson, Wellard (Minshull 65), Yussuff, Kedwell, Mohamed (Nwokeji 75), L. Moore. Subs not used: Jackson, Turner.

Goalscorers: Johnson 32, Yussuff 83.

Barrow: Masters, Spender, Edwards, M. Pearson, Bolland, Rutherford, Ferrell, Smith (Nicholas 83), Curtis, Sheridan (Blundell 65), Almond (Goodfellow 87). Subs not used: S. Pearson, Cook.

Booked: Edwards 83.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).

Rob Crane

April 2, 2011