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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Wimbledon 2
Saturday 2nd April 2016
Football League Two

Wanderers play-off hopes remained hanging in the balance after a lethargic 2-1 home defeat to Wimbledon. The Dons, 10th place and five points behind Wycombe before the meeting at Adams Park, out fought, out thought and more importantly out scored Gareth Ainsworth's side.

The loss came after Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had drawn at Notts County on Easter Monday - Matt Bloomfield and Jerell Sellars coming into the starting XI for Gozie Ugwu and Max Kretzschmar. Meanwhile, the visitors included former Wanderer Dannie Bulman in their midfield with former loanee Ade Azeez on the bench.

It was the visitors who flew out of the traps and took the lead on 12 minutes after Wanderers had lost possession in midfield following an attempted pass from Steve McGinn to Sellar. Dons Captain Barry Fuller picked up the loose ball on the half-way line and ran through to the edge of the box before dinking the ball to his right to Tom Elliot who then squared to his left under the robust challenge of Ryan Allsop for Luke Tyler to sweep home from 12 yards.

There was controversy following the goal as the Wanderers bench claimed a foul of Jason McCarthy in the play shortly before Wycombe lost possession. Referee Brendan Malone also suffered a calf injury at the time of the goal and after a few minutes delay was replaced by Assistant Alan Young.

The visitors could have extended their lead on 24 minutes when Rhys Murphy struck an effort against the crossbar as a normally watertight Wanderers defence continued to spring leaks.

The second-half proved little better for Wanderers from a performance point of view. Paul Robinson hit the bar with a header on 55 minutes and it was just as Wimbledon were stepping up their threat of bagging a second goal that Wycombe equalised. The out of the blue goal came on 58 minutes when Michael Harriman struck a low shot in to the left corner of the Valley End net after he latched onto a loose ball following a Wycombe throw from the right.

However, if any Wanderers fans were thinking of an unlikely victory, that thought would have lasted just eight minutes after Aaron Pierre hauled down Murphy in the box to concede a penalty. Pierre could also perhaps be thankful that stand-in referee Alan Young did not show a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. Taylor netted from the spot - sending Allsop the wrong way and the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.

Wycombe never really looked like equalising again, relying on the long throws of Ryan Sellers to create anything approaching danger to The Dons defence, who comfortably dealt with the Wanderers forwards while running down the clock.

The result saw Wimbledon move within two points of Wanderers, although Ainsworth's troops remain in 7th spot in the table ahead of the trip to one from bottom York City on Saturday (9th April).

Full-time - Wycombe 1 Wimbledon 2
Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson (sub 82 Jombati), Harriman, McGinn, Bloomfield, Hayes (sub 77 Sellers), Thompson (sub 84 Liburd), Sellars - subs not used: Siegrist, Kretzschmar, Ugwu
Scorers: Harriman 58
Bookings: Harriman 90
Wimbledon: Roos, Fuller, Robinson, Charles, Meades, Francomb, Bulman, Reeves, Murphy (sub 86 Rigg), Elliott, Taylor (sub 78 Azeez) - subs not used: Shea, Kennedy, Akinfenwa, Barcham, Sweeney
Scorers: Taylor 12, 66 (pen)
Bookings: Bulman 72, Azeez 81, Francomb 90+4, Meades 90+6
Referee: Mr Brendan Malone (replaced 13 minutes Alan Young) Attendance: 4,560 (838 away)

Gareth AinsworthSpeaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "We were not good enough in the first half and I had to lose my rag a bit at half-time and get the players on it for the second half which I donít often do. Wimbledon created a number of chances. We donít often have to say it, but fair play to Wimbledon they have worked really hard and they beat us fair and square. We will take it on the chin and we have three games we could get points out of now and the table is looking very interesting."

Commenting on Wimbledon's opening goal, Ainsworth added: "Their goal is ironic because there is a definite foul on Jason McCarthy in the build-up, he has got stud marks down his knee. When the referee was asked why he didnít give it he said he didnít see it because his calf pulled just at that moment. It is one of those things I have to take and we will move on to next week. There are no sour grapes and I am not a manager who goes on about things other than the fact the best team won today."

One plus fact for Ainsworth was the performance of loanee Jerell Sellars, adding: "We had a little spark in Jerrell Sellars today and I thought he had a great league debut. He had some great touches and was a pain in the side of Wimbledonís defenders."


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