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Saturday 26 August 2006
Ryman League, Premier Division

AFC Wimbledon    1 - 1    Boreham Wood
Roscoe Dsane (73)
  (80) Ryan Moran
 Andy Little 1 Anthony Anstead 
 Steve Wales 2 Michael Cox 
 Michael Haswell 3 Ryan Moran 
 Antony Howard 4 Tommy Williams 
 Steve Butler 5 Mark Smith 
 Lee Kersey 6 Luke Gregson 
(sub 85)  Byron Bubb 7 Paul Burrows 
 Wes Daly 8 Marvin Samuel 
 Scott Fitzgerald 9 Chris Bangura 
(sub 76)  Roscoe Dsane 10 Andre Delisser 
 Mark Rooney 11 Chris Watters 
 Luke Garrard 12 Joe O'Brien 
 Paul Smith 13  
(sub 76)  Richard Butler 14 Greg Morgan 
(sub 85)  Darren Grieves 15 Lee Allinson 
 Simon Sobihy 16 Bradley Hewitt 
  17 Danny Hart 

Match report

Wimbledon kicked off the first half in their now familiar 3-5-2 formation, with recent loan signing Scott Fitzgerald starting in the place of the rested Richard Butler in the only change from the Ramsgate line-up in midweek.

Spurred on by a dominating performance in their last game - not to mention the pre-match presence of Haydon the Womble - Dave Anderson had declared his intention to go for the full three points.

But it was the visitors who put together the first attack of note ? with the second of two successive free-kicks forcing Andy Little off his line to punch clear, before the ball was headed wide under pressure by the Wood number 8, Marvin Samuel.

The Dons hit back up the other end of the field almost immediately, with Bubb running at the Borehamwood backline. Bubb laid the ball back crisply to Rooney whose beautifully weighted ball into the box picked out Wales? surge forward. But with the wingback advancing at pace he was unable to control the ball with his first touch and his momentum saw the ball spin harmlessly out of play.

On 12 minutes, it was Scott Fitzgerald?s turn to provide the ammo. Bubb, tracking back some 30 yards, disposed his man and fed the Brentford forward out on the left wing. He in turn played in Wales down the right with an inch perfect crossfield pass all of 60 yards. Wales pulled back to D?Sane who beat his man and, from a tight angle, drilled the ball tantalising across the goal - only to see it cleared beyond the back post. But the Dons were now pinning the visitors back in their own end and Bubb won a corner with the very next move. Taking it quickly himself, his cross found Kersey on the penalty spot and his header beat the keeper all ends up, only to rebound off the post.

However, just as the opening 15 minutes could be characterised by the Dons? attacking play, the next 15 were notable primarily for a lack of goalmouth action ? with Wimbledon looking comfortable and having the better of the possession but not quite finding a final ball.

At the other end, the defensive trio of Kersey, Howard and Butler were mopping up the infrequent long balls forward from the Boreham defence, with Andy Little similarly dominating his area behind them.

Suddenly the Dons burst back into life on 38 minutes, with good pressure earning them a throw just by the cornerflag. Bubb received the ball at his feet and, showing more flicks than a Human League tribute band, he turned his marker and got his cross in. Fitzgerald controlled and, showing good awareness, played in the onrushing Haswell whose shot on the run smacked into the side netting.

Unfortunately, that proved to be another isolated attack in an opening period that petered out to see the 2,356 crowd considering the very real possibility of a Bore draw.

Nonetheless, Dave Anderson seemed suitably happy to continue as before, making no changes as the team came out for the second half, kicking towards the Tempest End. And almost immediately, Wimbledon were back on the attack, with D?Sane beating the visiting left-back and winning a throw-in down the right. From the resultant throw, Haswell teed himself up 30 yards out and fired in a shot only to see it beaten down. The Dons then nearly broke the deadlock from the unlikeliest of sources ? with an innocuous looking backpass beating keeper Anstead who had to clear almost off his line under pressure from D?Sane.

But with the Dons admiring their fortuitous near miss, a long ball caught the defence napping and Bangura found himself bearing down on goal, with the home defence outnumbered three to two. Resisting the passing option, Bangura beat Little?s dive only to see his shot hit the side netting.

At the other end, the Dons hit back, with Bubb ? once again gaining a yard on his marker with a trademark stepover ? spraying the ball across the pitch to pick out D?Sane. D?Sane in turn showed good control and, dropping his right shoulder and taking a stride to the left, found the space to get his shot off - only to see it fizzle yards over the visitors? bar.

Seconds later, Wales made it two shots within the minute, winning possession from the goalkick some 45 yards out and looking to lob the keeper for a Beckham-esque finish, only for his mis-kick to land safely in the keeper?s arms.

Wimbledon were then momentarily down to ten-men, with Steve Butler going off suffering from what seemed to be an elbow to the head. But the Dons captain re-emerged ? complete with headband and numberless shirt ? and the Dons momentum failed to be broken. There followed a five minute spell where it was all Wimbledon, with a Fitzgerald shot beaten down for a corner, Daly having a shot deflected wide from the resultant kick, and Fitzgerald missing narrowly from the second delivery.

Finally the deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute of the second period. Kersey won the ball in midfield, lost it and then did well to regain it with a crunching slide tackle, feeding Fitzgerald just inside the Borehamwood half. Fitzgerald ran at the visiting defence and was brought down inside the area just as he cocked his leg to shoot ? giving the ref no option but to point to the spot. D?Sane stepped up, as he had done against Carshalton on the opening day, and fired the ball inside the left hand post to give the home side a well deserved advantage.

With D?Sane having played his part, Dave Anderson sent Richard Butler on in his place as the Dons looked to secure the result. But while Wimbledon continued to press, Borehamwood equalised against the run of play. From a corner, Moran found himself free at the back post and Andy Little did well to save from point blank range. But the ball wasn?t cleared and Moran latched onto the rebound to fire onto the inside of the post, with the linesman adjudging the ball to have crossed the line before Howard had a chance to clear.

The Dons looked to hit back immediately, and midfielder Bubb made way for striker Grieves in a bid to mix things up in the remaining minutes. With time running out, the Dons pressed, winning a free-kick and corner in quick succession but were unable to apply any sort of finishing touch.

As the referee blew for full time, the Dons faithful were left to reflect on a game in which they never really looked like losing, but one in which they never really took the game to their opponents in a manner which their possession had inferred possible. The home side were undoubtedly the more impressive of the two, but until domination can be translated into goals, the Dons look set to be the team who flatter to deceive

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