AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Banstead Athlertic
Dons ran the game against Ryman Division One Banstead but profligate finishing and two errors from Lee Carroll allowed the visitors to rob them of a place in the next round of the Surrey Senior Cup.
Wimbledon took the game to their higher-ranked opponents from the off and had all the early chances. Gavin Bolger was through on goal as early as the second minute but Tony Webb raced out to block well with his legs. Kevin Cooper shinned a first-time effort over before an acrobatic volley from Joe Sheerin was saved by Webb and scrambled behind.
A superb cross-field ball from Danny Oakins found Andy Sullivan who jinked forwards and fizzed a low shot which Webb turned behind.
From Banstead's first real attack the Dons broke at pace. Matt Everard was upended but fed Cooper. His cross eluded Michael Harvey and Sheerin's shot was blocked. As Sullivan whipped the ball in again, only a timely header behind took it off the waiting Harvey's head.
Cooper then latched onto a long punt from Carroll and lifted it over the advancing Webb but the ball bounced agonisingly wide. Finally another chipped ball over the top brought dividends on 32 minutes. Gavin Bolger raced away to outpace the back four and his pull back was slid home by Sheerin for a well deserved lead.
Almost immediately, Banstead carved out their best chance of the game so far as White blazed over from close range unmarked. Then, totally against the run of play, they found themselves back on terms on 40 minutes. Carroll came out to claim a looped free-kick but was caught short in no-man's land and Finnie looped a header over him into the unguarded net.
A twice-taken free-kick saw an Oakins shot deflected onto the bar but the scores remained level at half-time. Sheerin, who had been
playing despite suffering from flu, spent the interval being violently sick and was replaced by Paul Scott. The Wimbledon dominance was not quite as total in the second period but they still spent most of the half taking the game to their opponents.
Cooper turned well on the edge of the box and got a shot away which Webb could only parry, but Gray snatched at the rebound and drove it over. Bolger then linked up with Gray, whose cross was tipped behind as Scott loomed. From the corner, Oakins and Everard went close but Banstead threw enough bodies in the way to defend the goal. Webb saved a low Oakins effort and raced off his line to gather the ball at the feet of Scott.
With extra-time looming, Bolger once more outpaced the back four but saw his goalbound shot very well tipped over by a flying Webb. With two minutes to go, an incredulous crowd saw Banstead snatch the tie. Langford was given space about 35 yards out and sent an innocuous shot goalwards. Somehow it slipped through Carroll's outstretched hands and nestled in the bottom corner. This was a cruel way to deny the Dons an encounter with fellow stadium dwellers Kingstonian as there was no real time to mount a comeback.
Despite the disappointment, it bodes well for the future that Wimbledon were able to outplay a Ryman One side for such long periods.