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Tuesday 29 January 2008
Ryman League, Premier Division

AFC Wimbledon    0 - 1    Boreham Wood
    (57) Leon Archer
 James Pullen 1 Noel Imben 
 Will Salmon 2 Ollie Adedeji 
 Chris Hussey 3 Ryan Moran 
 Jake Leberl 4 Tommy Williams ( 62) 
 Marcus Gayle 5 Mark Smith 
 Robert Quinn 6 Marvin Samuel 
(sub 70)  Steven Ferguson 7 Steven Wales 
 Samuel Hatton 8 Luke Gregson (sub 46) 
 Daniel Webb 9 Elliott Onochie ( 39) 
(sub 46)  Mark De Bolla 10 Leon Archer (sub 75) 
 Anthony Finn 11 Chris Watters (sub 90) 
(sub 70)  Karl Beckford 12 Simon Thomas 
 Lee Butcher 13  
 Luke Pigden 14 Chris Bangura (sub 46) 
 Stevie Gilbert 15 Greg Morgan (sub 90) 
(sub 46)  Richard Jolly 16 Joe Reynolds 
  17 Vaan Fehmi 

Match report

AFC Wimbledon’s winless run continued when Boreham Wood came to Kingsmeadow and stole all three points. An injury ravaged squad, with only 12 permanent first teamers, failed to cope with the visitors physical and defensive-minded approach and are now left with only the slimmest of hopes for automatic promotion.

Wimbledon began the game lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. Webb was supported by Finn and Ferguson up front with De Bolla just behind while Hatton and Leberl anchored the midfield. The Dons makeshift defence included youngsters Hussey and Salmon as wing-backs and Gayle and Quinn in the centre. James Pullen made his first start in goal after joining on loan from Eastleigh, becoming the Dons’ 7th first-team goalkeeper this season.

The first half started slowly and remained rather cautious for the whole 45 minutes. Boreham Wood had the better of it but could only really muster a few half-chances and Pullen wasn’t really tested at all. It was not until the stroke of half-time that Wimbledon even had a real attempt on goal but Webb’s header was inches wide of the post. The half-time break allowed Terry Brown to try and force some life into his side. De Bolla was withdrawn and replaced by Richard Jolly as the Dons returned to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation.

The change seemed to make an impact as Wimbledon came out looking the stronger side. Webb went close with another header from a Salmon cross but his downward header bounced up into the arms of the Boreham Wood keeper just before crossing the line. Finn went close almost immediately after with a long range effort but once again Noel Imber was comfortably behind the shot.

However after Wimbledon’s early dominance, the tide began to turn back into Boreham Wood’s favour as Chris Watters saw his effort tipped onto the post and in the 59th minute Leon Archer broke the offside trap before cutting back inside and curling into the top corner from just inside the box.

The lead was almost doubled seven minutes later when Archer again found himself clean through on goal. This time however he misjudged his shot and it trickled wide of the post. Brown made further changes with twenty minutes left when Ferguson was taken off and replaced by Karl Beckford but still the Dons couldn’t find a way through. As expected Boreham Wood sat back and absorbed the Wimbledon pressure to hold onto the lead.

Hatton had a chance when the goalkeeper’s punch fell to him outside the area but he could only direct his effort straight at the keeper. On 77 minutes Jolly had Wimbledon’s only clear cut chance of the game. Sam Hatton released him with a brilliant through ball after some good work from Karl Beckford. Despite being clean through Jolly’s effort was saved well and the rebound was cleared behind for a corner before Jolly could slot home the equaliser.

Wimbledon continued to press but were limited to half-chances all coming from Webb’s presence in the air. As the game went deep into injury time it was Boreham Wood who had the last chance of the game. A cut-back across the box after some good work on the wing found Elliott Onochie unmarked but with the goal gaping somehow Gayle got across to block the effort and deflect it onto the bar. All was in vain though as the final whistle ended a miserable night for Wimbledon fans.

With just two points from the last four games the Dons now must fight to get home advantage in the play-offs. Focus will now be temporarily turned to the Trophy when Wimbledon take on Torquay this Saturday. Although, with such an injury-hit squad, the odds are stacked against the lowest-ranked side left in the competition.

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