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Saturday 21 August 2004
Ryman League, Division One

Horsham    2 - 3    AFC Wimbledon
Gary Charman (14)
Luke Gelding (28)
  (10) Richard Butler
(89) Robert Ursell
(90) Steve Butler
 Luke Burton 1 Danny Naisbitt 
 Carlo Castrechino 2 Michael Woolner 
 Stuart Hardy 3 Ryan Gray 
 James Crofts 4 Matt Everard 
( 17)  Tom Graves 5 Steve Butler 
 Lee Carney 6 Antony Howard 
 Luke Gelding 7 Robert Ursell 
 John Westcott 8 Gareth Graham (sub 30) 
 Rob Collins 9 Richard Butler (sub 90) 
 Andy Walker 10 Jamie Taylor (sub 77) 
 Gary Charman 11 Gavin Bolger 
 Eddie French 12 Joe Sheerin (sub 77) 
  13 Paul Smith 
 David Soutar 14 Martin Randall (sub 90) 
 Gavin Geddes 15 Steve Gibson (sub 30) 
 Matt Watts 16 Lewis Taylor 
 Oli Wassell 17  

Match report

AFC Wimbledon proved yet again that they just don?t know when they?re beaten. 2-1 down as the match headed to injury-time, the Dons found two late late goals to snatch all three points at the death.

But the Dons had certainly found themselves in trouble for the first time in Dave Anderson? reign and were deservedly 2-1 down at the interval.
Both teams started a little tentatively, with the first real chance of note falling to the Dons as Jamie Taylor just failed to connect with an Ursell chipped cross. Then, on just ten minutes, Richard Butler headed a Naisbitt kick out wide to Ursell and slotted the resultant low cross home himself for an early lead.

But where Croydon had enjoyed possession without testing the Dons defence unduly last week, the Horsham front pair and runners from midfield caused the visitors? back three serious problems as the home side took control of the game. They got back on terms four minutes after going behind. Steve Butler only half-dealt with a back post cross and it was chipped back in for an unmarked Gary Charman to smash it gleefully home from close range.

Worse followed with almost half-an-hour gone. Bolger conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box after a theatrical tumble from Walker, with Horsham protesting vigorously that the offence had occurred inside the penalty area. Protests turned to celebrations as Gedling stepped up to curl a low shot round the wall and into the bottom corner for a 2-1 lead.
The injured Gareth Graham limped off shortly afterwards, with Michael Woolner moving inside and Steve Gibson coming on at right-back.

Gibson was involved in the Dons? better chances thereafter, almost tee-ing up Jamie Taylor, who scuffed his shot wide. Charman was unlucky to escape a booking when he tracked back for ten yards to kick the student and went down clutching his own leg.

Matt Everard drew a good save from Burton with a header from a corner, and then the keeper denied Richard Butler with a point blank stop in a goalmouth scramble. Steve Butler hit the side-netting, but 2-1 remained the half-time score and the Dons could have few complaints on the balance of play.

If the first half had belonged to Horsham, Wimbledon controlled the second period. But it seemed as though the equalising goal would never come. Horsham defended heroically when called upon, as countless shots were blocked and Burton saved well several times. With 11 minutes remaining, one scramble saw no fewer than four shots blocked from Steve and Richard Butler, before Bolger sent a near post chance sailing over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

Burton?s poor clearance was slid back by Bolger and Sheerin beat the keeper, but the ball trickled wide. As injury-time loomed and it seemed as though Horsham would cling on, the breakthrough finally came. Sheerin?s header sent Butler clear into the box and he was unceremoniously bundled over by French. The referee pointed to the spot but, despite French being the last man, proffered no card.

Robert Ursell calmly chipped the penalty in. Four minutes into injury-time, a free-kick was floated to Matt Everard at the far post. His header rebounded from a combination of post and goalkeeper, but Steve Butler lunged to head it home from a foot away from the line.

Predictable pandaemonium from the travelling fans, as the bench celebrated wildly. The team hung on and ran down the clock to secure the win. Phew.

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