Reversal at Wimbledon
By Mike McGough.
Fleetwood Town came away from Kingsmeadow with a defeat once again, as two first half Wimbledon goals gave the home side all three points.
It was a battle between unbeaten home record and unbeaten away record going into the game.
The game was fairly evenly matched overall during the first half, although Town did enjoy the best of possession in the early stages. The best chance for Fleetwood came when the ball dropped close to the six-yard box, which triggered a goal-mouth scramble between six players. Jamille Matt, David Ball and Jeff Hughes all desperately tried to put the ball away but a wall of bodies cleared the danger.
It was Fleetwood who created the first chance of the match, when Hughes managed to hold off a defender and tee off Stewart Murdoch who struck a thunder bolt against the Wimbledon cross bar from around 30 yards out.
Wimbledon’s first effort came from a direct free kick, one which George Francomb hit just wide of Scott Davies’ goal. Stephen Jordan was caught in possession midway through the first half when Francomb again stole possession and floated in a cross, one which Luke Moore struck wide at a stretch.
But minutes after the goal-mouth scramble, Mark Roberts was judged to have handled the ball inside the area, and referee Williamson pointed to the spot, much to the disagreement of the Town players.
Harry Pell stepped up and slotted it past Scott Davies, sending him the wrong way. The goal gave Wimbledon some determination, and Fleetwood found it difficult to regain the ball. Soon after, the real blow came for Town when Francomb’s shot was cruelly deflected into the path of Michael Smith who could not miss- heading it past Davies from around five yards out.
Wimbledon came out in the second half livelier than they did before the break and Francomb broke free a couple of times down the right hand side, before scuffing a chance himself after a cross from Smith.
In a bid to change the pattern of the game and begin to fight their way back into the game, manager Graham Alexander brought Jon Parkin on replacing Gareth Evans.
Wimbledon soon began to take control midway through the second half as they piled on the pressure with chances for substitute Jack Midson and Smith. The first a low shot which was well handled by Davies who managed to tip the ball away; the second a much better chance – this time a header from Smith which sailed wide from close range. Sammy Moore then had a shot blocked by Roberts which went out for a corner.
Fleetwood then brought Matty Blair on for Junior Brown, his first action being a header well wide before Ball struck a shot off target. Town found it harder to string passes together as the match went on, whilst Wimbledon continued to press and looked a better side second half. Arthur troubled Blair and Hogan down the left hand side with his strength and pace.
Schumacher had a free kick blocked and cleared late on, as Wimbledon began to wind down the clock, before a Parkin was caught offside as Town tried to push forward. A late header by Roberts was caught in the air by the Wimbledon’s keeper.
It was an off-day for the Cod Army on a ground where they are still yet to pick up a single win.