Lambs go two up, but Dons have other ideas
05 September 2009
Gary Mills was forced to make one change to the side that had beaten Kidderminster on Bank Holiday Monday with Neil MacKenzie unable to shake off a knock to his knee picked up towards the end of the game. This meant that Gavin Hurren was handed his first start while Anthony Bruce was named on in the sixteen man squad for the first time.
The massed ranks of the travelling supporters packed out the away terrace as The Dons kicked off towards the Castle End but Tamworth soon had the ball at their feet and the Shed were not to be outdone and in fine voice.
Wright had the first shot on goal on 4 but Pullen took his right footed effort from the left of the area easily.
Tamworth kept up the pressure through a Wright cross from the right on 5 and when Blackwood threaded the ball to Rodman he dragged his shot just wide of the right hand post with Pullen beaten.
Blackwood fired a freekick from the half way line forwards on 6 which Pullen collected but the keeper made a dreadful error of judgment on 7 when Sheridan burst onto a ball which Pullen perhaps should have been quicker to and put his boot in to deflect the ball into the net from the edge of the area. (1-0, 7 mins).
Wimbledon won a corner on 9 from a deflected cross but Smith was on hand to clear the danger, although the visitors tried their hardest to keep pushing forward.
Sheridan found Wright in the box on 11 but the strikers first touch took the ball too far away from him and Pullen gathered.
A head injury caused by nothing more than a clash of heads to Inns halted play on 12 and he left the field to help stem the flow of claret. Inns returned to the field a few minutes later in bandaged up ‘Terry Butcher' mode thankfully appearing to suffer no ill effects.
Conroy hit a hopeful curling right footed shot straight at Alcock on 16 and Main won a corner shortly after which Johnson headed wide of the mark under pressure from Briscoe.
However, it seemed to be a case of speaking too soon for Inns as he had to leave the field again on 21 with the bandage rapidly turning a deep shade of red.
Although a man down, Wimbledon hit the near post via a shot from Hatton on 22 and on 25 Taylor replaced Inns who by now was in the changing room receiving treatment.
Briscoe conceded a corner on 27 from a Hussey cross with a diving header and Smith powered the ball clear from the resulting flag kick.
Kedwell won another corner for The Dons, this time on the right, on 29 only to find Lyttle's head in the way and the chance was lost.
Gregory saw his low shot tipped away for a corner on 33 by Alcock but nothing came of the dead ball as Hussey's long cross from the left flew harmless wide of the far post.
Then, after a long period of no goalmouth action, Wright raised the roof on three sides of the ground with a pin point header from a yard out from Rodman's right wing cross following a ball down the line from Lyttle. (2-0, 37 mins)
Looking for more goals, Wright made space on the right of the area on 40 but hit his shot high over the woodwork.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the first period and a foul on Rodman on the half way line gave Smith the opportunity to punt long but Sheridan couldn't keep the ball in play by the corner flag and Wimbledon won a throw in the final action of the half.
Tamworth kicked the second half off towards the Castle End with Wimbledon having swapped goalkeepers at half time in one of two changes for Terry Brown's side.
Then on 49, Kedwell headed home from a right wing cross from Hatton to give the visitors an early lifeline (2-1, 49 mins)
Wright was felled on the left wing on 51 giving Shaw the dead ball to fire right footed into the mix but a foul in the area halted play.
Smith was adjudged to have brought down Kedwell on 52 setting up a freekick from 20 yards slightly to the right of the area which Hatton smashed straight into the wall and Wright broke feeding Rodman, but a late flag by the linesman stopped play and earned the latter a booking for kicking the ball away.
A searching cross from Lyttle was headed away on 57 but only as far as Blackwood who made Taylor block his powerful shot from the left.
Wimbledon won a corner on the right on 59 which Hussey powered to the far post and Kedwell met it with another header to level the tie. (2-2, 59 mins)
Adjei hit a very hopeful effort from distance on the hour mark and shortly after Nicholson replaced Hurren.
Shaw was booked for an seemingly unintentional high tackle inside The Dons half on 65 and he was on the receiving end of a late challenge on 68 which saw Johnson go into the referee's notebook.
Fine interplay from Lyttle and Sheridan set up Rodman to shoot from the right of the area on 70 form which he won a corner off the feet of Taylor but Blackwood lost the ball and Wimbledon broke.
At the other end Sheridan raced onto a flick through from Wright only to be denied a shooting chance by a well timed tackle on the edge of the area.
After a blatant shirt pull on Wright went unpunished, an innocuous tussle by Sheridan saw him receive a talking to by Mr Bristow.
Nicholson was denied a shooting chance by a block which won The Lambs a corner on 77 but it was half cleared and Sheridan was penalised with a booking for a late challenge as Wimbledon tried to break down the right of midfield.
Taylor was just quick enough to deny Wright bearing down on goal and at the other end Godfrey was booked for diving just inside area under a challenge from Blackwood.
Gregory fell in the area under a shoulder to shoulder challenge from Lyttle on 81 and his penalty claims were waved away as the visitors exerted some pressure in the final third of the field.
It was then Tamworth's turn to push forward with the pace of play refusing to let up as Kedwell's was another name to go in the book for playing on and kicking the ball away after Briscoe has been bundled over on the half way line.
Benjamin came on for Wright with 5 to go and play restarted with a freekick from Blackwood on the left wing but it came to nothing.
Calls for a push on the latest Lambs substitute fell on deaf ears as a long ball almost found him on the edge of the area on 87 and a deflected high ball won Tamworth a corner on 89 on the left by the clubhouse. Briscoe got his head to the flag kick but Smith was unable to get the ball back into the box. Nicholson and Sheridan combined just prior to the final four minutes added time being shown but the latter was unable to get his shot from the by-line on target.
Rodman hit a low shot at Taylor from outside the area in added time which failed to trouble the sub keeper.
Blackwood hit a freekick on the left into the area on 94 which came back out to Lyttle but Smith couldn't direct his resultant header goalward and the ball was launched forward causing Alcock to come out of his area and clear with a hefty boot.
A last ditch freekick was awarded to Wimbledon which Hussey stepped up to take left footed and Benjamin headed clear as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood, Smith (capt), Wright, Hurren, Rodman, Sheridan, Shaw, Lyttle, Briscoe
Subs: Nicholson, Mills, Brice, Lake-Gaskin, Benjamin
AFC Wimbledon Team:
Pullen (Brown HT), Conroy, Hussey, Adjei, Inns (Taylor 25), Hatton, Kedwell (capt), Main, Gregory (Godfrey HT), Johnson, Moore
Subs: Duncan, Wellard
Man of the Match: Chosen by Zero One Design: Jake Sheridan
Referee: Mr. M Bristow