Murphy 56 Dodoo 90+5
AFC WIMBLEDON 2
Forss 41, 81
BY DAVE HUNT-JACKSON AT MACRON STADIUM
AFC Wimbledon twice wasted a lead as they threw two crucial points away on Saturday.
Marcus Forss’ brace should have been enough for the Dons to come away with the victory but a last-gasp header ensured the League One outfit remain in the Dodoo – and that was the surname of the man who punctured their hopes in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
In the end Wimbledon paid the price both for their poor finishing and their woeful defending at the other end, with both goals coming from corners.
Given the size of AFC Wimbledon’s centre-halves the two headers that Bolton equalised with were especially disappointing.
It was an awful end to an awful few days for Wimbledon following the shocking revelations about the funding shortfall for the new stadium.
There is no doubt rock bottom Bolton’s own financial woes gave several of the South Londoners’ rivals – including Tranmere – what amounted to a gift of a three points as they essentially fielded kids.
And while Wanderers have since exited administration they were still there for the taking at the weekend.
Bolton could only name six substitutes and came into this fixture off the back of a 7-1 thrashing at Accrington. Yet they still proved the equal of their visitors.
The Dons may well also live to regret opening the gap still further on Bolton as their hosts will be able to strengthen in the January transfer window – a luxury very likely to be denied Glyn Hodges given the state of the club’s finances.
Despite recent events the visiting fans were in good voice and cheered the team throughout as they so nearly held on for the points.
But the closer the finishing line got the deeper Wimbledon defended – and when you defend corners as poorly as they have of late that was always going to be a high risk strategy.
Anthony Wordsworth was still absent – and very much missed – although there was a welcome return to the bench for Adam Roscrow whose Wimbledon career has yet to really get started.
With Kwesi Appiah back on the treatment table, Roscrow may well have a big part to play if the Dons are to stave off relegation again – more so if Brentford loanee Forss is recalled by his parent club on January 1.
These are worrying times at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Until recently the major uncertainty was about which division the Dons would start next season in – but now the venue too is very much in doubt.
One thing is for sure, if ever they needed that Crazy Gang spirit it is now.
AFC Wimbledon find themselves in need of another great escape – perhaps even greater than the last one.
AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Trott 7, O’Neill 7, Osew 6, Delaney 6, Reilly 6, Kalambayi 6, Forrs 8 (Guinness-Walker 86), Wagstaff 7, Pinnock 6 (McLoughlin 46, 7), Pigott 7, Sanders 7. Not used: McDonnell, McDonald, Thomas, Hartigan, Roscrow.