Wimbledon 2 v Exeter 1
Jack Midson spared his own embarrassment by scoring the winner as Wimbledon came from behind to beat Exeter City 2-1 at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (25 January).
The striker netted had put the visitors ahead after just four minutes when he scored an own-goal, but made amends with quarter of an hour remaining when he diverted home Kevin Sainte-Luce’s cross to secure Wimbledon’s first home league win since mid-November.
Midson’s initial clanger came after Exeter forced a succession of early corners. When the final one was delivered into the goal area, Midson got in the way of keeper Ross Worner’s claim and, as he attempted to duck out of the way, only succeeded in glancing the ball home off the back of his head.
And Exeter – themselves struggling with poor form – could have been 2-0 up moments later as they started the game on the front foot, only for Jimmy Keohane to volley Jordan Moore-Taylor’s cross narrowly over the bar.
But Wimbledon started to turn the tide and defender Darren Jones – making his debut after being released by Shrewsbury Town in midweek – went close to a debut goal only to see his header from Callum Kennedy’s cross go wide.
Kennedy almost got on the scoresheet himself in fortuitous circumstances when Exeter keeper Artur Krysiak fumbled his cross, but was soon afterwards forced out of action through injury, meaning an early introduction for Chris Arthur.
Shortly after Will Antwi headed straight at Krysiak, the Dons got their equaliser, and it was created by on-loan forward Charlie Wyke. There seemed to be little danger as Wyke was well marshalled by a defender down by the corner flag, but the Middlesbrough man managed to wriggle free and charge along the goalline before delivering a low cross that Luke Moore converted to make it 1-1.
After the break, Exeter continued to look dangerous and wasted at least two clear-cut chances as both John O’Flynn and Matt Grimes shot off target when they should have done better
But with the introduction of Sainte-Luce with just over 20 minutes remaining, the Dons started to exploit the gaps in Exeter’s defence. And it was the Frenchman who set up the winner, twisting and turning his marker before delivering a low ball into the box that Midson stretched for more in hope than planning and saw diverted into the back of the net.
Sainte-Luce continued to pose Exeter problems, including one notable run where he ran almost half the length of the pitch, beating several Exeter players, before being fouled just outside the penalty area.
But ultimately the Dons were able to close the game out in comparative comfort to chalk up a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against Hartlepool United and next weekend’s trip to Oxford United.
Wimbledon: Worner, S. Moore, Kennedy (Arthur 28), Antwi, Bennett, Jones, Fuller, Pell, Midson (Francomb 84), Wyke, L. Moore (Sainte-Luce 67). Subs not used: Sheringham, Brown, Morris.
Goalscorers: L. Moore 37, Midson 74.
Booked: L. Moore 21, S. Moore 45.
Exeter City: Krysiak, Butterfield, Moore-Taylor, Gill, Bennett, Coles, Wheeler (Parkin 79), Grimes (O’Flynn 45), Nichols, Keohane, Davies (Gow 78). Subs not used: Woodman, Baldwin, Gosling.
Goalscorer: Midson 4 (o.g.).
By Rob Crane
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January 27, 2014