AFC Wimbledon 2 v 2 Peterborough United
Cody McDonald finally scored his first goal for AFC Wimbledon as the Dons drew 2-2 with Peterborough United on Sunday (12 November) – but the Dons were again left ruing their impotence in front of goal as they seize the opportunity for a valuable win.
McDonald has suffered since his summer move from Gillingham, slowly seeming to lose form and confidence as he picked up the malaise that has afflicted the Wimbledon forwards throughout this calendar year.
But he showed some of his old form on the stroke of half time as he latched on to Deji Oshilaja’s hopeful punt down the middle, held off two defenders and calmly slotted the ball home to score a deserved equaliser for his side.
That combined with Lyle Taylor’s opener in the first minute to earn a valuable point for the Dons – but it was a 100 per cent conversion rate as those two efforts were the Dons’ only efforts on goal throughout the game. No fewer than sixteen other efforts went high, wide or mighty as Neal Ardley’s men again demonstrated their impotence.
Ardley told the club’s iFollow Dons channel afterwards: ‘To get Cody on the score sheet and feeling a bit better about himself – that might spiral him off on a little run now.
‘The performances, by and large, have been okay. Goals change games. We’ve been trying and we just need to take those chances that can change a game and put it in our favour.’
In contrast to the Dons’ profligacy, Peterborough were beneficiaries of two slices of luck: first when Danny Lloyd’s header flicked off Barry Fuller and ballooned into the far corner of the net, and then when Tom Soares gave away a needless penalty that Marcus Maddison converted to temporarily put the visitors into the lead.
But the Dons also needed goalkeeper George Long to pull off a handful of great saves in order to keep the home side in it. Long’s form since his summer loan arrival from Sheffield United has been a key part in keeping the Dons out of even more trouble at the bottom of the table.
The Dons took the lead after just 36 seconds when Harry Forrester laid the ball off to Taylor; as Taylor advanced towards the edge of the box he took a speculative shot that went across Jonathan Bond in the Peterborough goal and nestled into the back of the net.
With both sides seemingly just as keen to give concede possession in midfield as they were to keep it, the game developed into an open content. But it wasn’t until the 26th minute that the visitors equalised after Liam Trotter gave away a cheap free-kick. Maddison’s free-kick in towards the penalty spot was met by a combination of Fuller and Lloyd, ballooning up and off the far post before heading into the goal.
Wimbledon kept attacking, though, and managed to create three chances in quick succession, McDonald and Taylor seeing their efforts blocked by Peterborough defenders before Andy Barcham fired narrowly over.
And they were made to pay when Soares’ needless challenge sent Maddison tumbling on the edge of the box, with the winger stepping up himself to blast the penalty beyond Long’s despairing dive.
McDonald struck with the game into time added on at the end of the first half. Oshilaja was right by his own corner flag when he punted it clear, but a lucky bounce and good control allowed McDonald to charge clear of defenders Jack Baldwin and Steven Taylor before slotting it home beyond Bond to create half-time parity.
In the second half, Peterborough missed a golden opportunity when Gwion Edwards’ cross was met by an unmarked and lunging Jack Marriott, but the former Luton man was just unable to get his outstretched foot to the ball and it went narrowly wide of Long’s goal.
Long was in action soon afterwards when he dived full-length to get a palm to Lloyd’s deft header from a Maddison cross, before reacting quickest to smother the ball as Marriott threatened to tap the rebound into the net. And he was also called into action when Maddison fired in a long-range shot that the Yorkshireman did well to turn behind.
In between those Peterborough chances, McDonald fashioned a chance for the Dons when won possession in midfield and his attempt to feed Taylor deflected of a defender and threatened to trickle into the goal, bouncing agonisingly wide with a corner scant consolation.
The last significant chance came when midfielders Soares and Trotter combined. Both players have been on the receiving end of criticism from Wimbledon fans this season, but Soares’ looping cross was met by Trotter who rose high but headed narrowly over.
Wimbledon now face two big away trips against fellow strugglers, visiting Bristol Rovers (18 November) and Oldham Athletic (21 November) before hosting Walsall on Saturday 25 November.
Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Oshilaja, Charles, Francomb, Forrester, Trotter, Soares, McDonald, Taylor, Barcham (Meades 72). Subs not used: Robinson, Sibbick, Kaja, McDonnell, Hartigan, Kalambayi.
Goalscorers: Taylor 1, McDonald 45.
Booked: Francomb 82, Trotter 85.
Peterborough: Bond, Tafazolli, Baldwin, Taylor, Edwards, Grant, Doughty, Da Silva Lopes (Hughes 69), Lloyd-McGoldrick (Kanu 81), Maddison, Marriott. Subs not used: Forrester, Penny, Anderson, Chettle, O’Malley.
Goalscorers: Lloyd 26, Maddison 38 (pen).
Booked: Maddison 85.
What did you think of Wimbledon's performance? Why not comment on our forum?
November 13, 2017