Dons punished by ruthless Blackburn Rovers – but opening goal is a controversial one

AFC Wimbledon 0 Blackburn Rovers 3

By Anthony Scales

AFC Wimbledon went toe to toe with the league leaders for long periods but the visitors’ clinical second-half finishing proved decisive after a controversial opening goal before the interval.

Both sides cancelled each other out in an entertaining opening but neither goal was threatened until the half hour, when Blackburn’s Bradley Dack got on the end of a deep cross from Jack Payne on the right to loop a header back up and over Dons keeper George Long. Deji Oshilaja hacked clear but the assistant referee indicated the ball had crossed the line.

Wimbledon were indebted to Long eight minutes later as the keeper flung himself full-length to his right to get a fingertip on a free-kick to the left of goal that Charlie Mulgrew had bent around a dark blue wall.

Harry Forrester gave Blackburn keeper David Raya a fright in the 63rd minute when a Lyle Taylor corner from the right reached the far post and Oshilaja laid it off for the on-loan Rangers player to send a dipping effort inches over with his right foot.

But with the Dons going pound for pound with the league leaders there was a hammer blow for Neal Ardley’s men moments later when, straight down the other end, Elliott Bennett received the ball, back to goal, five yards beyond the D and spun and hammered a right-footed effort around the diving Long and inside the right-hand post.

The game was over as a contest in the 69th minute when Dack supplied a confident finish over Long to convert Danny Graham’s cross and give Rovers a four-point lead at the top of League One.

AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Robinson, Oshilaja, Meades, Abdou, Francombe, Trotter (Soares, 78), Forrester, Barcham (Pigott, HT), Taylor (Parrett, 78). Subs not used: McDonnell, McDonald, Kaja, Kennedy.

Blackburn Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Payne (Evans, 58), Smallwood, Bennett, Armstrong (Antonsson, 80), Graham (Nuttall, 75), Dack. Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Bell, Downing.

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