Wimbledon failed to win for the first time this pre-season as they played out a 1-1 draw at Ashford.
Richard Butler led the Dons out against his old team and was in the thick of the early action. He capitalised on some sleepy defending and raced clear before chipping the ball to the far post. Frankie Howard rose for the header, but succeeded only in smashing his forehead into O?Sullivan?s skull with a dull crack. A free-kick was unsurprisingly given to the home side.
Butler broke clear again after ten minutes, but opted for a pull-back which Crace got nowhere near. Ashford looked reasonably lively in possession for their part, forcing a few early corners. A shot from a deep cross beat Little, but Dave Sargent headed off the line.
Ashford went close from another header before Crace and Butler combined to unlock the home defence again. Butler beat his man and played Crace in, but the former Hendon man was denied by an excellent sliding block. Butler collected the rebound and fired surprisingly wide, but his blushes were spared by the linesman?s flag raised for offside.
He more than made amends minutes later as Ammo Kouman showcased his range of passing with an inch-perfect low through-ball. Butler?s first touch was a little strong, but he steadied himself well to lift the ball over the advancing keeper and inside the far post for 1-0.
Frankie Howard then spurned a glorious chance for 2-0 after good hold-up work from Crace, sending the ball into the side-netting when the goal gaped at his mercy. Sobihy then appeared to upend an Ashford attacker either on the edge or just inside the penalty area, but the referee waved play on, much to the chagrin of the Middlesex man, who proceeded to berate the linesman with some heat.
Both sides enjoyed further spells of possession as half-time neared, but there were few further chances of note.
Dave Anderson made five changes at half-time, with Ryan Gray and Stefan Woj as the wing-backs, and a new look back three of Howard alongside Finnie and Sobihy. Campbell and York joined Daly in the middle of the park, with Kouman pushed up front alongside Smeltz.
Smeltz looked keen to impress, drawing a good save from Wells with a shot and heading over the bar from his second chance. But the myriad changes meant the Dons struggled to keep their shape in the second period and Ashford, led by the impressive substitute Eggington, gradually enjoyed more of the possession.
It was Eggington who drew the home side level. York?s attempted clearance fell to an orange shirt and the ball was sent into the six-yard box for the striker to slot home, with the Dons appealing in vain for offside.
Campbell sent the Dons? best remaining chance over the bar as the game petered to a neutral conclusion, with honours even.