Wimbledon 1 v Gateshead 0
Ismail Yakubu propelled Wimbledon back to the top of the Conference with a thumping header that secured a 1-0 victory over Gateshead on Saturday (October 16).
It was starting to look as if a solid display from the visitors would leave the Dons frustrated – but then Yakubu got on the end of a Ricky Wellard free-kick to powerfully head home the only goal with 72 minutes on the clock.
It was reward for a hard working display by the Dons, who were made to work every inch of the way by a Gateshead side that constantly posed problems of their own and never let the home side rest.
Wellard and Sammy Moore (twice) both had first-half opportunities to break the deadlock, but Gateshead were creating chances of their own, with Kris Gate, Jon Shaw and James Curtis all failing to capitalise.
And Wellard – playing despite an injury – had a glorious second-half chance to make the breakthrough but headed tamely when well placed to meet Sam Hatton’s cross.
That miss almost became very costly but the Dons were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Curtis’s header came thumping back off the post and, moments later, Yakubu made the breakthrough.
But even then the Dons were unable to relax as both sides pushed for further goals. A mistake by Ed Harris when he misjudged a cross nearly allowed in Josh Gillies but the Dons defender somehow recovered and got a toe to the ball while grounded to deny the visitors what seemed a certain equaliser.
With Crawley surprisingly losing at home to Newport County, Yakubu’s goal was enough to send the Dons two points clear at the top of the table. They now have a break from league action when they travel to Basingstoke Town in the FA Cup on Saturday (October 23).
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, Gregory (Yussuff 43), Yakubu, Harris, S. Moore, Wellard (L Moore 81), Kedwell, Jolley, Jackson (Main 90). Subs not used: Turner, Blackman.
Goalscorer: Yakubu 72.
Gateshead: Deasy, Heckingbottom, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Brittain (Fisher 66), Turnbull, Shaw, Nelthorpe (Gillies 83), Ferrell (Clarke 71), Kay. Subs not used: Baxter, Cook.
Booked: Kay 17.
Referee: Alan Bennett (Yorkshire).
Rob CraneOctober 17, 2010