Wimbledon 1 v York City 0
Wimbledon emerged victorious from a closely fought encounter on Saturday as Sam Hatton’s free-kick gave them a 1-0 win over York City.
The England C international struck in the 20th minute, his driven effort from just outside the box deflecting off the wall and leaving York keeper Michael Ingham with no chance.
It was a win that the Dons deserved as they just edged this end-to-end encounter against a side that had beaten them 4-1 at Bootham Crescent just days earlier. The difference between the sides this time was up front: while Ingham was forced into a number of good saves, his counterpart Seb Brown wasn’t excessively troubled all afternoon.
The Dons started brightly but survived a strong penalty claim when Jamie Stuart appeared to handle a shot inside the area; referee John Hopkins, though, turned down the York City appeals.
And Brown had to be alert to gather a Chris Smith downward header that threatened to bounce up and over the England C international and under the crossbar.
But the Dons went ahead after 20 minutes. James Mulley embarked on a typically dynamic forward run that was ended with what Mr Hopkins judged to be an unfair barge. Up stepped Hatton to take the free-kick, and his long-range effort deflected off the wall and past the despairing Ingham.
Hatton had a good chance to increase that lead when Rashid Yussuff’s crunching tackle resulted in the ball feeding through to Christian Jolley; his run infield eventually resulted in the ball falling to Hatton’s feet but the youngster’s shot was blocked as he drove in towards the near post.
Danny Kedwell spurned an even more obvious opportunity early in the second half when he latched onto Yussuff’s excellent through ball, but his one-on-one shot was straight at Ingham who blocked with his legs.
York came into it more as the game entered its closing stages, and Ashley Chambers wasted a glorious chance when he was played in, his shot sliding an inch wide of Brown’s far post.
Hatton then had to be alert to block a Chris Smith effort for a corner, but it was the Dons who went closest to getting the second when Mulley connected with Kedwell’s cross from close range but saw Ingham block on the line.
But the final word went to man-of the-match Hatton, who produced a superb last-ditch tackle to deny York substitute Leon Constantine and secure the win.
The Dons travel to Tamworth on Saturday (19 February) before entertaining in-form Wrexham at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday 22 February.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, Gregory, Johnson, Stuart, Mulley, Yussuff (Franks 82), Kedwell, Jolley, L. Moore (Jackson 82). Subs not used: Yakubu, Turner, Nwokeji.
Goalscorer: Hatton 20.
Booked: Gwillim 88.
York City: Ingham, Meredith, J. Smith (Boucaud 66), McGurk, Parslow, Till, Barrett (Reed 61), Rankine (Constantine 66), Chambers, Kerr, C. Smith. Subs not used: Darville, Carruthers.
Referee: John Hopkins (Essex).
February 16, 2011