Frimley Green 1 - AFC Wimbledon 3
THE Dons took one step nearer the league title with another solid win at Frimley Green. The home side have been bolstered in recent weeks with the arrival of some ex-Aldershot prospects and presented a sterner test than they did at Kingsmeadow.
Nicky English shuffled his pack with several players sidelined ? Jamie Angell came in at centre-back, Matt Martin lined up between the sticks, Darren Dobinson started in front of Ryan Gary at left-back and Jamie Taylor partnered Kevin Cooper up front for his full debut.
The Dons took the lead on four minutes. A corner was only cleared to Gavin Bolger on the edge of the box. It took time for the ball to drop and he also waited for the referee to get out of the way before looping a measured half-volley over the keeper and into the net.
But the lead lasted all of three minutes, before Frimley got back on terms. There had been a warning from a similar pass shortly before a square ball in front of the back four somehow eluded Paul Quinn, Angell and Matt Everard. Sam Scully needed no second invitation and scampered clear to slide a precise low shot across Martin and inside the far post.
A rutted and furrowed pitch denied Wimbledon their normal fluency, although Sullivan had a shot saved and Everard was somehow flagged offside when two successive headers ended in his hitting the bar. At the other end, Martin pushed a header round the post from a Frimley corner.
Andy Sullivan engineered the second with a fine cut inside from the right wing, beating two men before laying the ball back on a plate for Dobinson to slide in and knock it home. Then Taylor pounced on a Dobinson knockdown to rifle in a dipping half-volley that the keeper pushed round the post ? truly a shot that heralded his arrival as a Don.
The second half saw few clear cut chances for either side. Gray replaced Quinn just after the hour, with Dobinson dropping back to left back. Martin had to scamper out to block one attack, while Brett Cooper drove just over as Frimley came more into the game once more.
The third goal sealed the points and was entirely down to Taylor. He won the ball back, dribbled clear of two men and slid the ball across the face of the goal. Sullivan and Seb Favata conspired to miss it before Cooper pounced to toepoke it in.
Thereafter, a Taylor pass set up Favata, but he was crowded out, and Cooper shot wide when well-placed.
No-one could accuse it of being a pretty game, but the Dons always looked likely to do enough to win, with Angell stepping competently into the breach for the first time in a while and Taylor suggesting Nicky English has unearthed another gem for the Wimbledon forward line.
Six more wins will probably be enough and three goals were a good fillip to keep things on track before a tricky trip to Southall.