AFC Wimbledon 5 - Cobham 1
AFC Wimbledon produced an exciting performance to comfortably dispose of Cobham despite the continued absence of Matt Everard, Gavin Bolger and Joe Sheerin.
Lewis Taylor continued to deputise in the centre of defence, with Darren Dobinson partnering captain for the day Seb Favata in midfield. Debutant George Snee and reserve team protégé Jones Bamfo were named amongst the substitutes.
After a nervy opening, the Dons took the lead through Ryan Gray, volleying home at the back post on 18 minutes. That seemed to settle the back four down and a greater composure grew in the home side's game thereafter.
Kevin Cooper found the net with a header, but was denied by the linesman's flag. As the midfield battled hard, the Dons missed Sheerin's ability to hold the ball up, as volubly evidenced by a rant from Paul Quinn. McGregor raced of his line twice to deny first Cooper and then Lee Sidwell and ensure a slender half-time home lead.
Five minutes into the second half, Chris Stone pulled the visitors back on terms as the Dons conceded their first goal under Nicky English's caretaker regime. He reacted quickest to a lobbed through ball, outpaced Quinn and slide the ball under the advancing Standen for 1-1.
But within minutes, the Dons were back in front. Scott beat his man on the edge of the area and rattled in a near-post shot, which rebounded off the woodwork for the predatory Cooper to slot home. Snee was then given his Dons debut in midfield, with Dobinson dropping back to left-back. After a couple of early passes aimed at runner that weren't there, he settled down to give an assured display.
Cooper doubled his tally on 65 minutes after Favata was fouled. He swivelled in the box to fire home low with a fizzing shot McGregor could only palm into his net. Danny Oakins limped off, having held the defence firm despite severe bruising to his leg, and was replaced by Jamie Angell. Scott then tricked his way through the Cobham defence once more, skipping two challenges that would surely have resulted in a penalty before hitting the side netting.
English decided to pile on the defensive agony for the visitors and unleashed the livewire Jones Bamfo from the bench in place of Cooper. And he made quite an arrival. Within a minute, the exciting youngster had set up a goal, collecting the ball from a corner, beating two men and unleashing a shot which McGregor pushed away. Sidwell followed up to make certain of the points with the Dons ' fourth goal.
A beautiful flowing move made it five as Scott swept in imperiously after a speedy break and pinpoint low cross from Gray. Bamfo blazed wide and Gray was denied by the linesman's flag as the full-time whistle came with Cobham on the ropes.
So, with key players still missing, the Dons produced a competent display with occasional flashes of brilliance to comfortably see off Cobham. Bamfo electrified the crowd with his 12 minute spell, Snee showed he has the class to go with his undoubted pedigree and Lewis Taylor was rewarded for another assured, calm and mature display at the back with the Man of the Match champagne.