Wimbledon 2 v Grimsby 1
Wimbledon rounded off their highly successful league season on Saturday (30 April) with a 2-1 home win against Grimsby Town.
But the highlight of the afternoon was an emotional appearance by striker Jon Main, who was recalled from a loan spell at Dover to make what may well be his last appearance in a Dons shirt.
The former Tonbridge Angels man – who has been such an integral part of the Dons' success in recent seasons – was given a standing ovation when he came on as a 65th minute substitute for Kaid Mohamed.
By then, the Dons were already 2-1 up. They dominated the initial exchanges and took a deserved lead after just seven minutes when Luke Moore calmly slotted home Ricky Wellard’s pass.
The home side continued to press and came closest to a second when Kenny Arthur blocked Mohamed’s effort.
So it was somewhat against the run of play when Grimsby’s top scorer Alan Connell broke free just before half-time and blasted home the equaliser past Seb Brown.
The Dons came out from the half-time break with all guns blazing. Danny Kedwell saw one effort blocked on the line by Charlie l’Anson, but in the 51st minute Brett Johnson continued his recent run of goalscoring form by heading home after Lee Minshull’s effort came off the crossbar.
But going behind again seemed to inspire the visitors and they had the better of much of the remainder of the game. They came closest to the equaliser their play perhaps deserved when Andi Thanoj’s effort hit the bar, but the Dons at times shaky defence managed to hold out to secure the win.
The Dons finish the season 15 points behind runaway leaders Crawley, but six clear of Luton, with a 90-point haul that might in other seasons have been enough to secure the title.
Their thoughts now turn to the play-offs, with the semi-final trip to Fleetwood Town confirmed for this Friday (6 May) before the return leg at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 11 May. Both games will be shown live on Premier Sports TV.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, Yakubu, Johnson, Minshull, Wellard (Stuart 85), Yussuff, Kedwell, Mohamed (Main 65), L. Moore (Mulley 73). Subs not used: Jolley, Turner.
Goalscorers: L. Moore 7, Johnson 51.
Booked: Main 68.
Grimsby Town: Arthur, Wood, Bore, Garner, l’Anson, Cummins, Thanoj, Coulson, Duffy (Peacock 63), Connell, Mulready (Southwell 63). Subs not used: Hudson, Watt, Eagle.
Goalscorer: Connell 39.
Booked: Wood 68, l’Anson 72.
Referee: Simon Long (Suffolk).
May 1, 2011