Wyke Puts Dons On Course For Win

Wycombe Wanderers 0 v Wimbledon 3

Wimbledon finally discovered their goalscoring boots as they won 3-0 at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday (4 January), including a goal for debutant striker Charlie Wyke.

Wyke joined on loan from Middlesbrough in midweek to replace the departed Michael Smith and put the Dons ahead early in the second half, his downward header following a Sammy Moore free-kick bouncing over Wycombe keeper Matt Ingram and over the line.

Further goals from Sammy Moore and Jack Midson – restored to the starting line-up – allowed Wimbledon to finally taste victory after a run of recent poor results and leave manager Neal Ardley happy.

He told the club’s official website: ‘In the second-half we tore them to shreds. It was amazing. Luke Moore has got fantastic movement, Jack Midson did not stop running, and Charlie [Wyke] upped his work-rate. Between the three of them they caused problems.’

Ardley chose to go into this game with the same 3-5-2 formation that had seen improved attacking performances in the previous matches against Southend United and Dagenham.

With Midson and Wyke offering presence up front, the Dons started the game enjoying long periods of possession, during which Jim Fenlon shot just off target from close range and Will Antwi saw a header cleared off the line by Sam Wood.

Ross Worner in the Wimbledon goal wasn’t called into action until midway through the half when he spread himself to deny former Wimbledon loanee Billy Knott.

At the other end, returnee Harry Pell also went close to giving the Dons the lead but his powerful 30-yard drive was turned around by Ingram.

Wycombe again threatened just before the break, when Wood’s effort from an acute angle was just off target, but after the interval it was all Wimbledon.

Wyke had already gone close with one effort before putting Wimbledon 1-0 ahead in the 52nd minute, and moments later Pell spurned another opportunity when following Midson’s clever flick he shot over the bar.

Jim Fenlon and Wyke again had chances before the Dons went 2-0 up 13 minutes from time. Wyke was again instrumental, calmly bringing down a high ball with his back to goal and laying it square to Sammy Moore, who carefully side footed it into the bottom right corner.

The Dons’ final goal came when substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce capitalised on a stumble by Wycombe’s already-booked defender Anthony Stewart. As Sainte-Luce charged into the box, Stewart attempted to make amends by lunging in and tangling with the Wimbledon man, a challenge that prompted a penalty and Stewart’s dismissal for a second yellow. Midson converted the resultant penalty for only his second goal of the season.

Wimbledon’s day was spoilt slightly when Fenlon received a deserved injury-time red card for an ugly challenge on Josh Scowen, but overall the Dons will be well pleased with their first win in seven matches.

They will be hoping to maintain this level of performance when they entertain struggling Torquay United at Kingsmeadow on Saturday (11 January).

 Wycombe: Ingram, McCoy (Morias 80), Wood, Lewis, Stewart, Johnson, Arnold, Scowen, Kuffour (McClure 62), Cowan-Hall, Knott (Craig 67). Subs not used: Bloomfield, Horlock, Kretzschmar, Doherty.

Booked: Lewis 58, Stewart 79, 81.

Sent off: Stewart 81.

Wimbledon: Worner, Antwi, Bennett, S. Moore, Frampton, Fuller, Fenlon, Pell, Wyke (Sainte-Luce 78), Midson, L. Moore. Subs not used: Kennedy, Sheringham, Arthur, Porter, Brown.

Goalscorers: Wyke 52, S. Moore 76, Midson 82.

Booked: Bennett 42, Antwi 49.

Sent off: Fenlon 90.

Attendance: 3,513

By Rob Crane

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January 6, 2014