York City 1 v Wimbledon 3
Wimbledon secured their first back-to-back wins of 2015 as they beat strugglers York City 3-1 at Bootham Crescent on Saturday (24 October).
The Dons had beaten Morecambe 4-3 away in midweek, which was in itself only their second away win of the year. But just days later they added to that result with a comfortable victory on their travels to leave hosts York in the relegation mire.
Wimbledon attacked from the off, with Jon Meades heading over, Paul Robinson volleying wide, Lyle Taylor volleying over, and Jake Reeves having an effort charged down.
So it was little surprise when the Dons took the lead with 15 minutes on the clock, albeit in fortuitous circumstances. Taylor slipped a ball between a square York defence for Adebayo Azeez to run onto. The striker stretched out a leg in an attempt to lift the ball over the advancing Scott Flinders but missed, only for the ball to bounce back off the keeper, hit the underside of Azeez’s outstretched foot and ricochet into the back of the net.
The Dons suffered a blow soon afterwards when Sean Rigg had to be substituted following a robust York challenge, but that did little to disrupt the team’s rhythm as Azeez was again released by Taylor only to see Flinders grasp his 20-yarder at the second attempt.
The one-way traffic continued after the break, first with Taylor blazing over and then Azeez almost latching onto Kennedy’s through ball.
So it was completely against the run of play when the home side equalised. There seemed little danger when ex-Don Femi Ilesanmi lofted a hopeful ball into the Wimbledon box but as keeper Ben Wilson went up to gather he was blinded by the setting sun. After Wilson spilt it, Vadaine Oliver improvised to hook the ball home and tie up the scores.
But as at Morecambe in midweek, Wimbledon refused to lie down and die, and within five minutes they were back ahead. Barry Fuller’s long throw was flicked on by sub Tom Elliott and Taylor used his strength to beat one man to the ball, then his pace to beat another before slotting home under the advancing Flinders to make it 2-1 to the Dons.
Wimbledon were comfortable with that lead until they extended it with five minutes left with a goal that perfectly illustrated York’s defensive problems. George Francomb was given all the time in the world down the right flank and delivered a near-post cross to the unmarked Elliott who dived to head it home.
Christian Toonga came off the bench to make his debut as the clock ticked down. The 17-year-old’s debut had been much delayed following his summer move from Cardiff City while the international transfer clearance was arranged, but he finally made it off the bench and nearly stole the show.
There seemed little threat when he picked up Karleigh Osborne’s headed clearance midway inside the York half, but he span his marker and took a couple of paces forward before unleashing a viciously dipping effort that had Flinders scrambling to turn it behind.
Manager Neal Ardley was understandably pleased afterwards, telling the club’s official website: ‘What the players did on Tuesday [against Morecambe] was unbelievable and then they came here today and there were no excuses or tiredness in their legs.
‘It was as comfortable an away performance as you can get. Even when they [the players] had a setback, which came out of the blue, they kicked on again.’
Ardley will be hoping for more of the same when they entertain Hartlepool United at Kingsmeadow next Saturday (31 October), before the following weekend’s FA Cup 1st round.
York City: Flinders, McCoy (Sinclair 79), McCombe, Lowe, Ilesanmi, Coulson, Collins, Nolan (Godfrey 45), Straker (Carson 67), Oliver, Turner. Subs not used: Winfield, Ingham, Rzonca, Tutonda.
Goalscorer: Oliver 60.
Booked: Godfrey 88.
Wimbledon: Wilson, Fuller, Robinson, Osborne, Meades, Francomb, Bulman, Reeves, Rigg (Kennedy 21), Azeez (Elliott 64), Taylor (Toonga 87). Subs not used: Beere, Ajayi, McDonnel, Kaja.
Goalscorers: Azeez 15, Taylor 65, Elliott 85.