BY RICHARD CAWLEY
AFC Wimbledon’s second-half fightback – and a brilliant finish by James Hanson – was not enough as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to League One leaders Portsmouth.
The Dons were wretched in the opening 45 minutes and trailed to goals from Tom Naylor and Gareth Evans.
The deficit could have been an even bigger one to try and overhaul as Portsmouth were in almost total control with Joe McDonnell making at least two vital saves to keep the hosts in what had been a one-sided contest.
Dons manager Neal Ardley’s response was to make a triple substitution at the break with Hanson, Will Nightingale and Anthony Hartigan coming on.
It would have been hard for the South Londoners to have been more ineffectual than their opening 45 minutes, and they had a focal point with Hanson winning plenty in the air.
The summer signing from Sheffield United also scored the goal of the game – a vicious left-footed strike from 25 yards which flew past Craig MacGillivray and into the top corner.
Portsmouth were penned back in the second period but clung onto the lead to ensure their promotion push is still well and truly on course.
But for Wimbledon, they are one spot above the dropzone and have lost five of their last six league matches.
IMAGES BY PAUL EDWARDS