Masterstroke by manager

AFC WIMBLEDON
Appiah 90
LINCOLN 1
Payne 31

BY JOSHUA MINCHIN AT CHERRY RED
RECORDS STADIUM

The Dons were in need of a response after going down 1-0 at Burton Albion last week.

A frenetic start gave way to a sustained period of Lincoln pressure, aided by an inability by the hosts to keep the ball.

Michael O’Connor pulled the strings in midfield for the visitors and forced a good save out of Nathan Trott in the Wimbledon net early on.

The visitors’ breakthrough came in the 31st minute after the Dons found themselves inside the Lincoln box on a rare occasion.

The ball was cleared and the Imps moved the ball quickly from Tyler Walker to Bruno Andrade, whose cross was turned home by the effervescent Jack Payne. It was a slick, killer counter-attack – the Dons alarmingly undone with three passes.

The hosts went into half time fortunate the deficit was just one.

Whatever boss Glyn Hodges said at half-time worked because Wimbledon were more careful with possession and pinned Lincoln back into their own box in the second half. But bad decisions at key times meant clear-cut chances were lacking.

Lincoln were a counter-attacking threat and Andrade could and should have put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go, but his effort was straight at Trott.

Hodges made his last roll of the dice, throwing on Kwesi Appiah in the 78th minute, so the Dons had three up front – it would prove to be a masterstroke.

With just minutes left in added time, Appiah found himself unmarked in the box and glanced home Luke O’Neill’s cross – one of the only times Wimbledon got their final ball right.

The Dons were not at their best. Better sides might have sealed the game by half time. But Hodges’ resilient side found a way to grab a point – a knack they will need in the coming months.

Trott 8, Kalambayi 7, Delaney 5 (O’Neill 51), Thomas 5, Wagstaff 7, Wordsworth 6, Hartigan 6 (McLoughlin 69), Pinnock 7 (Appiah 78), Osew 6, Pigott 8, Forss 7

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