Bryon Harrison and George Moncur both struck landmark goals today to help the Dons move tantalisingly close to safety.
Harrison finally struck his first Wimbledon goal since moving from Stevenage in January and on-loan West Ham midfielder Moncur will remember this game for years to come as he fired home his first senior goal. Luke Moore and Sammy Moore notched the other goals for Wimbledon in what was our biggest win of the season.
It was a match when everything went right for manager Terry Brown as his side produced an impressive performance that had the bonus of a first clean sheet since 21 February - and indeed Wimbledon's first shut-out on home turf this season. The Wimbledon boss made one enforced change to his starting line-up with Christian Jolley replacing the injured Rashid Yussuff.
Luke Moore took just eight minutes to come good on his pre-match tweet that he was in the mood for a goal. Moore, who had not scored since that 4-3 win at Gillingham on 21 January, used Twitter to announce that he was ready to break his duck, and he made no mistake in the ninth minute. In truth, it was only Moore’s second start since the end of January and a goal never looked in doubt once he found himself clean through on goal.
Wimbledon punished Burton for failing to clear their lines when Moncur put Moore through and he composed himself well, before firing a low finish past Burton goalkeeper Ross Atkins into the bottom corner of the net. However, by that time Wimbledon had almost suffered a repeat of their terrible start against Plymouth. Former QPR midfielder Adam Bolder picked up the ball 30 yards out and produced a half volley after just 32 seconds that smashed against the top of the crossbar. In a match that saw both sides really going for it from the start, Jack Midson struck a fierce shot across the face of the goal. The chances continued to come thick and fast though and Seb Brown needed to be alert to turn away a Greg Pearson volley. Midson also had another shooting chance, but Atkins got down well to save his shot. It was all Wimbledon now and Jolley produced a glimpse of his talent with a blinding run from the halfway line, but he scuffed his finish and Atkins gratefully gathered. Moncur also fired straight at Atkins and then Jolley twice blazed over the crossbar as Wimbledon gathered momentum.
As the first-half came to a close, Wimbledon were in total command against a Burton side that had lost seven successive matches before coming here. Billy Knott, who had spoken in today’s programme about his hunger to get more goals, almost delivered in style when he struck a shot from just outside the area that forced Atkins into a full length save.
Wimbledon never started the second-half in the same manner they had finished the first and they allowed Burton to come back into the match. However, they had a great chance to secure the killer second just before the hour when Sammy Moore’s free-kick picked out Pim Balkestein, but he headed across the face of goal. The hosts came even closer shortly afterwards after a fine team move that ended with Luke Moore setting up Moncur and his shot had to be well saved by Atkins.
Terry Brown decided to hand Ricky Wellard his return after a two-month absence through injury with the midfielder replacing Knott on the left side of midfield 25 minutes from time and Harrison was also thrown on shortly afterwards in place of Luke Moore. And Harrison did not take long to get involved in the action when he latched onto a Sam Hatton through ball and produced a powerful shot from an acute angle that Atkins struggled to block at his near post.
Wimbledon finally earned that elusive second goal in the 74th minute with a goal that will have done Harrison’s confidence no harm at all. The ex-Stevenage striker may not have scored it, but he was instrumental in the build-up as he produced a darting run and pass for Jack Midson to fire a shot that Atkins could only palm into the path of Moncur and he made no mistake. Harrison’s approach play continued to catch the eye and he then put a delightful ball through for Midson, who was only stopped by a fine save from Atkins. There was better to come from Harrison as he finally ended his goal drought by heading home from close range in injury-time after Midson had headed on a Gareth Gwillim corner and there was still time for Sammy Moore to lob home for number four.