Smith Brace Earns Three Points For Dons

York 0 v Wimbledon 2

Michael Smith grabbed a brace to give Wimbledon a 2-0 win at York City on Saturday (7 September) and maintain their impressive start to the season.

The Dons now sit third in the table following a result that manager Neal Ardley described to the club’s official website as ‘a classic away victory’.

‘We knew that it was not going to be a free-flowing match,’ he said. ‘We had to do the ugly side of things first.

‘It is about consistency now and racking up the points. I am very pleased because last week was a very good overall display, but this was a solid away performance.’

The Dons were boosted by the return of centre-backs Alan Bennett and Andy Frampton after ending the midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game at Brentford with no centre-backs fit.

And Bennett almost made an immediate impact, getting a firm headed connection to Francomb’s second-minute corner, only to see the ball deflect into the grateful clutch of York keeper Michael Ingram.

Harry Pell had a 25-yard effort just off target before the Dons took the lead just after the half hour. It was Frampton’s long up-field clearance that left Smith with a chase against York’s two centre backs. Smith used his strength to hold off George Taft’s weak challenge before delicately lobbing the ball over the stranded Ingram from the edge of the area.

Bennett came even closer to getting his name on the scoresheet early in the second-half when he actually had the ball in the back of the net, heading home a Smith flick, only to be ruled offside.

The home side did start pushing forward a bit more in the second period and Frampton – by now playing with a bandaged head after a cut sustained in a clash with Ryan Jarvis – had to be alert to deny a goal-bound shot from the York striker.

But the Dons finally extended their lead with 20 minutes remaining as substitute Chris Arthur, who had only been on the pitch a few moments, latched on to Jim Fenlon’s pass up the flank, advanced to the goal line and squared it for Smith who had the simplest of tap-ins at the far post to make it 2-0.

There was little to trouble the Dons after that and they came close to making it 3-0 in the dying moments when Pell saw another long-ranger hit the crossbar and bounce clear.

The Dons now face a tough examination of their early season form as they travel to table-toppers Chesterfield next Saturday (14 September) before entertaining sixth-placed Burton Albion the following weekend (21 September).

York City: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Smith, Taft, Davies, Clay (Coulson 55), Montrose, Platt, Puri, Jarvis, Chambers (Chamberlain 55). Subs not used: Kettings, Parslow, Fyfield, Allan, Dickinson.

Booked: Montrose 82.

Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Frampton, Bennett, Fenlon, Francomb (Midson 71), S. Moore, Pell, Porter (Arthur 71), Smith, L. Moore. Subs not used: Kennedy, Sweeney, Strutton, Brown, Fayers.

Goalscorer: Smith 31, 73.

Booked: Porter 67, L. Moore 85.

By Rob Crane

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September 8, 2013