AFC WIMBLEDON (2) 4 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Saturday, 26 February, 2011, at 3pm
After more than matching the hosts for the opening half hour, Altrincham fell behind to what looked an offside goal in the 37th minute when Kedwell scored. In the 45th minute Kedwell added a second after Alty had allowed Yussuf to advance unchallenged. At the interval, Twiss and Beesley came on for Reeves and Williams. But Kedwell completed his hat-trick on the hour mark when he made space well before beating Dootson. Four minutes later, Beesley went off injured and Danylyk came on.
Alty kept battling and Joseph headed home a Clee corner from the right to make it 3-1 (69 mins). But then Connors's foul earned him a second yellow and Alty were reduced to ten men (75 mins). Alty continued to battle and went close before a swift counter-attack allowed Broughton to score off the post to make it 4-1 (81 mins).
When Smith limped off in the closing stages, it left Alty to finish the game with nine men.
REFEREE: Mr L M Collins
ATTENDANCE: 3,078 (67 in away end)
Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury and Sam Wedgbury had completed his loan period, so Wes Baynes returned to the eleven and Greg Young came in at the back.
Statistics of previous encounters are provided by Mike Garnett:
AFC WIMBLEDON (Blue and yellow) 1. Seb Brown, 7. Samuel Hatton, 29. Gareth Gwillim, 4. Steven Gregory, 6. Brett Johnson, 28. Jamie Stuart, 26. James Mulley, 23. Rashid Yussuff, 9. Danny Kedwell, 12. Christian Jolley, 25 Kirk Hudson. Subs: 5. Ismail Yakubu, 20. Jack Turner, 2. Ryan Jackson, 16. Fraser Franks, 31. Drewe Broughton
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 22. Greg YOUNG, 2. James SMITH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 17. Wes BAYNES, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 11. Nicky CLEE, 8. Damian REEVES. Subs: 19. Mark BEESLEY, 1. Stuart COBURN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS.
Rain started to fall before kick off and the already sanded pitch got heavier as the first half progressed. The Dons kicked off, with Alty playing into the breeze, and the hosts started in cagey fashion, opting for ponderous, lateral build-ups rather than any incision against an Alty side which started with five at the back.
In an otherwise quiet opening spell, James Smith did some good covering at the back and Alty also took advantage of several freekicks conceded by the hosts. Gregory's wild effort well over the bar was the nearest to a shot on target in the first 12 minutes. Soon after, Alty had a sniff of an opening but Reeves and Baynes left the ball for each other. A couple of long Clee throws aided Alty's cause but play passed the 20-minute mark with Alty shading the territorial possession.
With rain now pouring down, Alty were still doing well despite neither side creating a chance of note. Gregory got booked for Wimbledon, who now began to improve a little after their lacklustre start to the match. Young was cautioned for a foul, with the card seeming more a case of evening-up the count quickly after Gregory's earlier transgression than being an appropriate punishment for the defender's challenge (33 mins).
At last, a goalkeeper was called into action when Wimbledon's Brown had to save a strong shot from Baynes (35 mins). Hudson and Yussuff then combined, getting the ball to an offside looking Kedwell who scored (37 mins).
Alty almost levelled two minutes later when Wimbledon managed to scramble the ball away after two shots from Alty, one of them from Young, had been blocked. Piergianni then became the second Alty man to be cautioned (39 mins). Yussuff now shot over the Altrincham bar on a pitch which was now cutting up in the wet conditions. But with the game in the last minute of normal time, Altrincham failed to close down Yussuff who was allowed to advance up the middle before feeding Kedwell, who slid the ball home from close range to give the hosts a flattering two-goal lead (45 mins).
|Half-Time: AFC WIMBLEDON 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
At the interval, Twiss and Beesley came on for Reeves and Williams, whilst the Dons introduced Broughton for Gregory. A fine, low shot from 25 yards by the energetic Connors forced Brown to tip the ball round the base of his left post for an early Altrincham corner (47 mins).
Wimbledon now started to press with a bit more conviction than they had shown in the opening 45 minutes but they had nothing to show for it before Connors was booked for a foul in the 58th minute.
Alty then allowed Kedwell too much room and he cleverly drifted to his right, making space for a firm shot past Dootson to make it 3-0 on the hour mark. Alty replied by winning a corner, before a 25 yard effort from Baynes was saved. Wimbledon now brought on Yakubu at the back for the former Grays man, Stuart (66 mins). Two more Alty corners followed as the visitors refused to lie down, the first won by Clee and the second coming when Brown had to tip Baynes's flag kick smartly over his bar. From the second corner, from the right and taken by Clee, Joseph arrived at the back post to head Altrincham back into the game at 3-1 (69 mins).
But any hopes of Alty making a game of it were soon dashed when Connors picked up a second yellow for a foul on Hatton just outside the visitors' box (76 mins). After this, the Dons brought on Franks to replace the injured Hatton. Altrincham continued to go forward and Clee got to the by-line, left of goal, to cross before Twiss was blocked off in the goalmouth. Wimbledon broke quickly to the other end where Broughton, in space, had time to pick his spot, his shot hitting the inside of Dootson's left upright before entering the net, despite Greg Young's efforts to clear (81 mins).
At 4-1 it was all over but Altrincham kept going. A mistimed challenge on Yakubu from Twiss earned him a deserved booking (87 mins) but then Kedwell's shot was well blocked by Dootson, the ball cannoning off him onto the cross bar before being cleared (89 mins).
But there was still time for four added minutes, during which James Smith limped off holding the back of his thigh, leaving Alty to complete the game with just nine men.
It was not a bad performance at all from Alty apart from some slack defending for the second goal and, when chasing the game, for the fourth. But they once again failed to convert a number of half chances and were left to rely on their fellow relegation candidates also losing today to ensure their position did not markedly worsen at the foot of the table.
Somehow, in a game of just 11 fouls apiece, Alty ended up with five yellow cards - two of them turning into one red for Connors. Equally puzzling is how, having had no red cards in the first 24 games this campaign, Altrincham have now picked up five dismissals in nine matches.
|Full-Time: AFC WIMBLEDON 4 ALTRINCHAM 1|