Wycombe Wanderers 1 v Wimbledon 2
Two goals by Lyle Taylor gave Wimbledon a vital 2-1 win over fellow playoff contenders Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday (2 April) to keep their dreams alive.
Taylor is amongst the division’s leading scorers but had been quiet in front of goal in recent games. But that all changed as the Dons closed the gap on the playoff places to two points with a game in hand over many of their rivals.
Wimbledon signalled their intent by starting with three up front as Taylor was partnered by Rhys Murphy and Tom Elliott. And that bold approach was rewarded early on as the visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.
Barry Fuller had already flashed one effort wide but he was involved as the Dons took the lead after 12 minutes, picking up the ball and surging forward before releasing Elliott. Although the striker was clattered down by Wycombe keeper Ryan Allsop, the loose ball fell kindly to Taylor who made no mistake.
The Dons went close to extending their lead when George Francomb’s deep corner was headed back into the goal area and fell to Murphy whose firmly struck effort whacked off the crossbar, Jonathan Meades blasting the rebound well over.
And Taylor also tested the home defence as he forced Allsop into a save from a narrow angle as the home side struggled to get going during the first period, with Wycombe unable to handle Elliott’s physical presence.
The second period started in much the same vein, with Dons defender Paul Robinson crashing a header against the bar, but the same player was involved as the hosts unexpectedly equalised just shy of the hour.
There appeared little danger as he stooped on the edge of the area to head clear a tame Wycombe pass, but the ball rebounded off a colleague and fell kindly to Michael Harriman who made no mistake, despatching the ball from the edge of the box to give Kelle Roos no chance.
The Dons, though, refused to be thrown from their stride and got a deserved winner 25 minutes from time. Murphy was bundled over in the box by his marker Aaron Pierre, who had been deceived by his clever spin to create a goalscoring chance. Taylor stepped up to the spot and calmly converted, sending Allsop the wrong way.
Wycombe responded in the closing moments and it took some keen Wimbledon defending – which resulted in late yellow cards for Francomb and Meades – to keep the three-point haul intact.
Striker Elliott told the club’s official website: ‘We knew what Wycombe were all about and they are a strong team. We had to stand up for a battle to try and catch up some point on them and we did that.’
Looking ahead to this weekend’s trip to another promotion-chasing side, Plymouth, Elliott said: ‘As players we are going to do the best we can. We are going to work as hard as we can on the training pitch and on Saturday. We are going to fight and do all we can to get the three points.’
After the trip to Plymouth (9 April), the Dons entertain Crawley the following weekend (16 April) before a trip to strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge (19 April).
Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson (Jombati 82), Harriman, Bloomfield, McGinn, Sellars, Hayes (Sellers 77), Thompson (Liburd 84). Subs not used: Kretzschmar, Ugwu, Siergrist.
Goalscorer: Harriman 58.
Booked: Harriman 90.
Wimbledon: Roos, Fuller, Robinson, Charles, Meades, Francomb, Bulman, Reeves, Murphy (Rigg 87), Elliott, Taylor (Azeez 78). Subs not used: Shea, Kennedy, Akinfenwa, Barcham, Sweeney.
Goalscorer: Taylor 12, 66 (pen).
Booked: Bulman 72, Azeez 81, Francomb 94, Meades 96.