Dons Beast Burton

Wimbledon 3 v Burton Albion 0

Adebayo Akinfenwa – nicknamed ‘The Beast’ – scored his first goals for Wimbledon as they beat table-toppers Burton Albion 3-0 on Tuesday (16 September).

The striker has been a huge presence since his summer move from Gillingham, forming a promising partnership with Matt Tubbs, but had somehow avoided the scoresheet until now.

But a brace alongside another for the prolific Tubbs helped propel Wimbledon to a comfortable victory that really could have been by a wider margin. The only disappointment for the Dons was Tubbs’ dismissal for a second booking.

Wimbledon were on the front foot from the off and could have taken the lead in the opening moments, with Akinfenwa heading narrowly wide from Sean Rigg’s cross.

And Tubbs also went close to breaking the deadlock, only for his emphatic volley from the edge of the box to hit the bar and deflect over.

It was only a matter of time before the home side took the lead and it came shortly after 20 minutes when George Francomb played a throughball that Tubbs latched onto before calmly beating Jon McLaughlin in clinical style to make it 1-0.

Akinfenwa again went close, heading narrowly wide for a second time, but it was a case of third time lucky as just before the break Barry Fuller sent over a deep cross from the right and Akinfenwa was in place to head it back across the goal to make it 2-0. The big striker indicated his relief by theatrically mopping his brow as he celebrated in front of the Wimbledon fans.

Burton came out after the break with renewed impetus but, although they moved the ball around neatly at times, they never managed to find a cutting edge and the Dons defence held firm.

And it was effectively ‘game over’ when Akinfenwa got his second of the game. Francomb showed great perseverance to wrestle back possession deep in the Burton half and delivered a low cross that evaded McLaughlin before being converted by Akinfenwa at the far post to make it 3-0.

The closest that Burton came was when Jacob Blyth saw an effort rebound back off the woodwork, with James Shea recovering smartly to tip over the follow-up, but in truth the Dons could have won by more as they continued to pose Burton problems even after Tubbs’ dismissal for a second booking.

And afterwards manager Neal Ardley threw down the gauntlet to his players. ‘We have to master how we win games when we are not free-flowing and plating well,’ he said to Dons Player.

‘We played really well tonight, but if we don’t have the same qualities on Saturday will we win the game?’

He will find his answer as the Dons entertain Morecambe before travelling to Cheltenham Town the following weekend.

Wimbledon: Shea, Harrison, Bennett, Fuller, Barrett, Francomb (Beere 72), Bulman, Rigg (Kennedy 83), Moore, Tubbs, Akinfenwa (Azeez 75). Subs not used: Phillips, Sainte-Luce, Nicholson, McDonnell.

Goalscorers: Tubbs 21, Akinfenwa 37, 67.

Booked: Tubbs 49, Bennett 61, Akinfenwa 69, Harrison 90.

Sent off: Tubbs 82.

Burton: McLaughlan, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff (McFadzean 65), Edwards (Harness 76), Taft, Weir, Mousinho, Akins (Palmer 32), MacDonald, Beavon, Blyth. Subs not used: Luness, Knowles, Slade, Austin.

Booked: Mousinho 61, MacDonald 90.

Att: 3,195

By Rob Crane

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September 17, 2014