Wimbledon 3 v Hayes & Yeading 1
A piledriver goal from debutant James Mulley helped Wimbledon to a 3-1 New Year’s Day win against Hayes & Yeading, maintaining their four-point lead at the top of the table.
The former Hayes & Yeading man – signed on a non-contract basis just hours before the game – struck against his old club in the 54th minute. Fellow debutant Kirk Hudson’s pass was deflected into his path and, after bringing the ball under control, Mulley unleashed a venomous shot that rocketed into the corner of the net past despairing keeper Lee Harrison.
It was the highlight of a game that burst into life after a tepid first half in which the Dons seemed to be suffering not from New Year’s Eve excesses but from the virus that is still sweeping throughout the camp.
Manager Terry Brown was forced into three half-time changes in order to give some respite to three of his illness-affected players, but it proved the perfect tonic for the Dons as they sparked into life.
In the first-half, Mark Nwokeji and Danny Kedwell both forced smart saves from Harrison, but it was the lowly visitors who had the upper hand, with Seb Brown having to be alert to the threat that they posed on several occasions.
But that all changed after Terry Brown’s enforced half-time changes. Just five minutes later Ryan Jackson jinked past his man and put in a shot that Harrison partially blocked but couldn’t keep out.
And just minutes later Mulley – who played the first-half at right-back before switching to midfield in the second – unleashed his Exocet moment.
But the visitors never stopped probing and, when Jake Hyde pulled a goal back, it looked as if they might go on to capitalise on Wimbledon’s fatigue and snatch a point.
Their hopes partially evaporated when Jamie Hand picked up a second needless booking, and they were finally extinguished minutes from the end when Luke Moore got on the end of Fraser Franks’ probing ball from deep to slot home a third.
The Dons are at Newport County on Bank Holiday Monday (3 January) before travelling to Darlington on Saturday 8 January.
Wimbledon: Brown, Mulley, Bush, S. Moore (Harris 46), Franks, Yakubu, Wellard, Yussuff (L. Moore 46), Nwokeji (Hudson 46), Kedwell, Jackson. Subs not used: Turner, Jolley.
Goalscorers: Jackson 51, Mulley 54, L. Moore 86.
Booked: Franks 64, Kedwell 79.
Hayes & Yeading: Harrison, Ferrell, Green (Appiah 86), Cadmore, Bygrave, Holmes, Hand, Pritchard, Hyde (Wishart 86), Buchanan, Yiadom (McLean 69). Subs not used: Deen, Wassmer.
Goalscorer: Hyde 75.
Booked: Hand 66, 78, Green 73, Bygrave 79.
Sent off: Hand 78.
Referee: John Hopkins (Essex).
January 2, 2011