Wimbledon 1 v Scunthorpe 2
Darius Charles’ first goal for Wimbledon wasn’t enough to give them their first point of the season as they went down to a 2-1 home defeat against Scunthorpe on Tuesday (16 August).
The Dons are rooted to the bottom of the table as more sloppy defending consigned them to defeat in a match they could again have won.
First Sean Kelly was beaten in the air to allow Scunthorpe to take the lead, then Charles conceded a soft penalty that allowed the visitors to double their advantage.
Charles’ second-half strike turned out to be no more than a consolation but he remains confident of the Dons’ long-term chances.
‘Judging on the first few games, I don’t think there is anything for us to be fearful of,’ he told the club’s website.
‘We’ve been conceding at least two goals a game and not scoring enough at the other end. They are not the performances we want to be putting in, but what we do know is that we can perform better as a squad.’
The Dons nearly got a perfect start to this encounter when their early dominance saw Andy Barcham’s cross hit the woodwork and Jake Reeves’ effort from the rebound deflected narrowly over.
And although Ryan Clarke had to be alert to thwart a Josh Morris effort, it was all Wimbledon with Tyrone Barnett having a goal ruled out for offside.
So it was against the run of play when Scunthorpe took the lead in the 23rd minute. Conor Townsend’s drifted cross caught out Kelly and Tom Hopper jumped above him to head a simple header back across goal and into the net.
Kelly made amends by throwing his body in the way of a fierce Hopper drive as the visitors were suddenly dominant, and Kevin van Veen also had an effort narrowly off target.
Shortly before the break the Dons found themselves two down when Charles nudged Hopper in the box and Morris stepped up to send Clarke the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Dons boss Neal Ardley made a double swap at half time as he switched to a 4-3-3 formation, with wide men Chris Whelpdale and Barcham being replaced by Dean Parrett and Tom Elliott, and the latter’s flicks soon saw Wimbledon experiencing a more productive period.
It climaxed just after the hour when Parrett swung in a free kick that Elliott headed onto the bar, with Charles reacting quickest to swing his leg and prod home from the edge of the goal area.
Although the Dons continued to press for the remaining half hour, they created comparatively few clear-cut goalscoring chances, although Elliott did curl one effort off target.
Substitute Dom Poleon, on for cramp victim Lyle Taylor, also seemed to have a case for a penalty as he almost had his shirt ripped from his back, but ultimately it wasn’t to be as the Dons went down to another defeat that arguably deserved more reward.
Wimbledon: Clarke, Fuller, Charles, Robinson, Kelly, Whelpdale (Elliott 45), Bulman, Barcham (Parrett 45), Reeves, Barnett, Taylor (Poleon 82). Subs not used: Shea, Nightingale, Beere, Fitzpatrick.
Goalscorer: Charles 61.
Booked: Barnett 39.
Scunthorpe: Daniels, Clarke, Wallace, Mirfin, Townsend, Bishop, Dawson, Williams (Adelakun 50 (Goode 84)), Morris, van Veen (Mantom 70), Hopper. Subs not used: Wiseman, Anyon, Holmes, Wootton.
Goalscorers: Hopper 23, Morris 41 (pen).
Booked: van Veen 54.
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August 19, 2016