Wimbledon may have surrendered the Supporters Direct Cup to League One Brentford, but they acquitted themselves admirably in a 2-0 defeat and were extremely unlucky not to get on the scoresheet themselves.
The hosts included new signing John Salako in their line-up and he sent in the corner that saw them take the lead on just six minutes. The ball eluded everyone and dropped to Deon Burton to fire home at the back post.
But the Dons were not daunted and managed to break effectively on several occasions, winning three corners. From one, Mark Williams headed home but the goal was disallowed for a push on the defender midway through the half.
Sticking with the 3-5-2 formation first seen on Saturday, Wimbledon managed to achieve parity in the middle of field, with Ursell?s neat touches standing out once again in their early forays forward. The Dons? industry certainly earned the right to go in at half-time just a goal down and they did so thanks to an excellent save from Danny Naisbitt to tip a Burton drive round the post on 45 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second half, 16-year-old Ryan Peters entered the fray for the home side and had an immediate impact, storming into the Dons box and hammering a ferocious shot across Naisbitt and inside the far post for 2-0.
A flurry of substitutions followed, before Randall sent a free header over from a free-kick on the edge of the area. A small passage of Dons possession saw every touch cheered by the away contingent of travelling fans, but Brentford started to dominate the game more ? Antony Howard hacking clear when danger threatened after a swift raid from substitute Rhodes.
The game became stretched after further substitutions and the Dons kept looking for a goal to get back in the game when they could. Jamie Taylor almost broke clear, before electing to unleash a shot from more than 20 yards that Lennie tipped over.
With 13 minutes left Dave Anderson introduced Lewis Taylor and Jones Bamfo. Bamfo was involved immediately, having one shot blocked and setting Jamie Taylor free for a close range shot that fizzed agonisingly across the goal and wide. The hosts had one shot from distance at Naisbitt and missed a snapshot from close range, while the Dons spurned a couple more corners.
In injury time, Brentford looked to add a third and had a couple of chances, but were denied by Naisbitt and the back three. In the dying seconds Rhodes bundled a header home but it was disallowed for handball.
NOTE: Brentford lined up with 1-11 starting, AFC Wimbledon started with 12 Steve Gibson in place of 5 Roger Joseph in a 3-5-2 formation (Woolner-Howard-Oakins; Gibson-Gell-Graham-Ursell-Gray; Randall-Williams).