Wimbledon 4 v Portsmouth 0
Two goals from Andy Frampton set Wimbledon on course for what turned out to be an emphatic 4-0 win against Portsmouth at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (16 November).
The centre back struck his third and fourth goals of the season, and two late efforts from Sammy Moore and Michael Smith completed the scoring, but it was the Dons’ solidity in defence and midfield that was just as eyecatching as the final score.
Kaid Mohamed added an extra dimension to the Dons’ play, going straight into the starting line-up following his return to the club on loan from Port Vale, and his presence seemed to rejuvenate a midfield in which Sammy Moore was outstanding, while the defence was solid all afternoon.
After a slightly cagey opening in which former Don Patrick Agyemang caused the home defence a few mild concerns with his physical presence before being withdrawn through injury, it was good old-fashioned Wimbledon directness that got the Dons their first real goalscoring opportunity of the game.
Ros Worner’s long goal kick was flicked on by Smith to Mohamed who, charging into the box, was sent tumbling by Portsmouth keeper Scott Carson. Harry Pell stepped up to take the resultant penalty but it was poorly placed and Carson was able to block the effort, before recovering well to do the same to Smith’s attempted follow up.
But just after the half hour the Dons did take the lead, and this time Carson was complicit in the act. Mohamed met Callum Kennedy’s looping, inswinging far-post cross but his effort went straight to Carson at the near post. But inexplicably the custodian flapped at the ball and it fell straight to the feet of Frampton who was alert to the opportunity and blasted it into the back of the net to put the Dons 1-0 up.
And the Dons thought they had gone 2-0 up when Alan Bennett blasted the ball home following a goalmouth melee, only for referee Rob Lewis to rule out the effort after spotting an infringement in the scramble.
The Dons continued to press forward after the break and Smith went close to capitalising on another Mohamed break down the left only to see his effort from a low cross go narrowly over the bar.
Portsmouth had offered little till then but did have a brief spell of pressure around the hour mark during which they asked questions of the Wimbledon defence which held firm in almost uncharacteristic fashion.
The only mild lapse came when Alan Bennett came for a hanging cross on the edge of the box and missed the ball completely, conceding possession to Andy Barcham. Worner managed to deflect the resultant shot but was relieved to see it roll across the goalmouth and kiss the far post without another Portsmouth player tapping it home.
Although Worner did also have to be alert to palm away a close-range snap effort at his near post, that was almost all that Portsmouth offered all afternoon as the Dons held sway.
Bennett had already seen his own header from a corner flash narrowly over before the Dons made it 2-0 with quarter of an hour remaining, Frampton succeeding where his captain had failed by powering home a near-post header from Kennedy’s delivery.
Demoralised Portsmouth’s heads visibly dropped after that, and the Dons capitalised with minutes remaining when Smith’s effort was blocked but ballooned up for Sammy Moore who, 25 yards out, chested the ball down before unleashing a half volley that dipped into the net to make it 3-0.
And in injury time the Dons made it 4-0. Worner came midway into his own half to collect a loose ball and indulged in a spot of keepy-uppy before hooking it forward, where Smith charged onto it and used his strength to hold off Bondz N’Gala before blasting home.
The Dons will come up against much stiffer opposition than Portsmouth but nonetheless this was a satisfying display that will only boost confidence as they prepare to travel to Bury next weekend.
Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Frampton, Bennett, Kennedy, Porter, Pell, Mohamed (Francomb 86), Sweeney (L. Moore 75), S. Moore, Smith. Subs not used: Midson, Fenlon, Sainte-Luce, Brown, Weston.
Goalscorers: Frampton 34, 74, S. Moore 82, Smith 90.
Booked: Pell 25, Fuller 37.
Portsmouth: Carson, East, N’Gala, Bradley, Devera, Wallace, Ferry, Ertl (Racon 57), Barcham, Agyemang (Bird 29, Craddock 71), Connolly. Subs not used: Smith, Moutaouakil, Painter, Cooper.
Booked: Carson 22, Ferry 66, Bradley 86.
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November 21, 2013