AFC Wimbledon 2 v Blackpool 0
Joe Pigott scored with his first touch in league football after coming on as a second-half substitute as AFC Wimbledon beat Blackpool 2-0 at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (20 January) to move out of the League One relegation places.
After a week training with the Dons following his move from National League side Maidstone United, Pigott was introduced with Wimbledon deservedly 1-0 ahead and 15 minutes remaining. And he soon made an impact, bursting into the box to latch on to a Liam Trotter pass before hooking the ball beyond Blackpool keeper Joe Lumley.
‘It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind, to be honest,’ the striker told the club’s iFollow Dons channel afterwards. ‘It’s been really positive to help the team get three points. I’ve settled in pretty well so far and that goal helped me settle in that bit more as well.
‘It was a bit of a battle in the first half, what with the [weather] conditions and the pitch, which didn’t help. We did need the second goal but when you think about it they didn’t really test us and our keeper [George Long] didn’t have too many saves to make.’
The visitors did have one early shot on target from former Wimbledon youth teamer Dan Agyei but it was straight at Long who saved comfortably. Instead, it was the Dons who most often emerged from what was developing into a scrappy midfield contest to threaten the opposition goal.
Deji Oshilaja got forward to deliver a left-wing cross that narrowly evaded Lyle Taylor, while shortly afterwards a free-kick by the latter was headed over by Tom Soares. And shortly after the half-hour mark Andy Barcham shot at Lumley when put through by Cody McDonald.
Wimbledon’s pressure was rewarded soon after the restart. From Long’s long kick McDonald got the better of marker Kelvin Mellor. Although Lumley saved his shot, the ball fell kindly to Trotter who had time to pick his spot before slotting home.
The visitors finally started to display more attacking threat around the hour mark as they started gaining territory while Wimbledon tired, with Oshilaja alert to thwart one promising Blackpool attack and Blackpool sub Nathan Delfouneso blazing over from close range when he really should have done better.
Wimbledon did continue to fashion chances of their own, notably when Taylor played Barcham through only for his shot to be well saved by Lumley, but the need for a second goal was becoming increasingly evident when Pigott was introduced and made his immediate impact.
Blackpool threatened a consolation when Will Aimson slipped Sean Longstaff through but Longstaff’s shot rocketed across the face of goal and wide, but ultimately it was a deserved win for the Dons that lifted them to 19th in the table.
Wimbledon’s next challenge is three successive away trips as they travel to Bradford City (27 January), Rotherham (3 February) and Bury (6 February) before facing fellow strugglers Northampton Town at Kingsmeadow on Saturday 10 February.
Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Charles, Oshilaja, Abdou, Francomb (Meades 72), Trotter, Soares, Barcham, Taylor (Forrester 97), McDonald (Pigott 73). Subs not used: Robinson, Kennedy, McDonnell, Hartigan.
Goalscorers: Trotter 49, Pigott 77.
Booked: Soares 88.
Blackpool: Lumley, Turton, Mellor, Robertson, Aimson, Daniel, Longstaff, Spearing, D’Almeida (Cooke 45), Agyei (Solomon-Otabor 64), Vassell (Delfouneso 65). Subs not used: Taylor, Gnanduillet, Philliskirk, Mafoumbi.
Booked: Delfouneso 79.
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January 25, 2018