AFC Wimbledon vs Crewe Alexandra Match Report

Finney provides the festive cheer as Crewe make it a hat-trick of 2-1 wins.

Oli Finney grabbed a decisive 91st minute winner at Plough Lane to record the Alex’s third straight 2-1 win. The midfielder slotted home following a Chris Porter knock down to take all three points, barely 90 seconds after the Dons had looked to salvage a point.

In a game with very few chances, the Reds dominated possession with inform winger Owen Dale twice going close in the first half and Finney volleying over, possibly the Alex’s best opportunity.

Though, it’s interim captain, Harry Pickering, who Crewe should be thanking after his defensive heroics denied Steve Seddon in the second half. A goal line clearance which was worthy of a goal at the opposite end.

David Artell was forced into one change for the trip to AFC Wimbledon with Tom Lowery self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Likewise, experienced midfielder, Luke Murphy, was named in the starting XI.

Whilst Regan Griffiths replaced Eddie Nolan on the substitute bench.

Crewe settled into their passing game, with the home side prepared to sit back and defend their lines making patience the aim of the game for the Reds. Likewise, Crewe looked to go long as Pickering hurled a ball towards Mikael Mandron who unselfishly rolled it onto Dale, but his effort was blocked.

The cohesive partnership of Omar Beckles and Olly Lancashire continued their solidarity at the back and chances for the home side were limited.

Crewe’s first chance came via Dale after some superb combination play between Luke Offord and Murphy. The midfielder shielded the ball before slipping it through for the winger, manoeuvring his way past one challenge he could only drag his effort inches wide of Connal Trueman’s near post.

Despite the Railwaymen’s dominance on the ball, at the other end, a dangerous looking cross across the penalty area had the Reds defence nervy. To Crewe’s relief, nobody in blue anticipated the cross, but it was sure to be a snippet of what the Dons could offer.

Wimbledon started to come out of their half and have more authority on the game but Will Jaaskelainen still hadn’t had much to do in the opening half an hour. During this period, Crewe’s best chance opened up as a superbly executed cross from Pickering fell to an unmarked Finney. But he couldn’t quite keep his volleyed attempt down and so it blazed over Trueman’s crossbar.

Alex Woodyard picked up the first yellow card of the game after 31 minutes.

Opportunities began to arise in the Alex attacking half as Charlie Kirk cushioned down his header towards Pickering and the skipper’s first time cross found Dale at the far post, but atypically snatched at the chance and fired wide of the post.

A goalless first half concluded with a second booking for the Dons as midfielder, Callum Reilly, was cautioned for persistent infringement.

Half Time: AFC Wimbledon 0 vs 0 Crewe Alexandra

Crewe began the second half much like the first but with a much more direct approach in attack. As Ryan Wintle released Mandron in on goal, the Frenchman managed to get his shot off from just inside the 18-yard area but, Trueman pulled off a save to keep the scores level.

This opening rallied the Dons to liven up, as they registered their first effort on goal but was no trouble for Jaaskelainen between the sticks.

Crewe’s perseverance finally told on the hour mark with Mandron opening the scoring. The left sided partnership of Kirk and Pickering once again combined, as the skipper crossed for Mandron to tap home from close range.

It was the summer signings final touch of the game as he was replaced by Porter. Wimbledon boss, Glyn Hodges also made his first substitutions as Ollie Palmer and Ethan Chislett replaced Joe Pigott and Jack Rudoni.

10 minutes later and the home side again looked to the bench to try and find that extra spark. Anthony Hartigan replaced Thomas Terell.

With just under 15 minutes to play, appeals for a penalty were echoed around an empty Plough Lane from the Alex dugouts. Dale’s pace enabled him to race clear of a sliding Shane McCloughan and after checking back, the ball appeared to strike the hand of the Dons player.

That was Dale’s final involvement for the afternoon, as he was replaced by Daniel Powell. Wimbledon made their fourth change as Chey Alexander replaced Woodyard.

The home side continued to try and scrounge something out of the game, looking for that equaliser and it looked to have came on 85 minutes but for Pickering’s heroics on the goal line to deny them. A blocked effort dropped invitingly to the feet of Steve Seddon around the six-yard area and he looked destined to score, but the skipper miraculously got a touch on the line to send it over for a corner.

Wimbledon increased the pressure on the Crewe defensive third, throwing the kitchen sink at Jaaskelainen’s goal. Though that increasing pressure finally tuck its toll on 89 minutes, after Ryan Longman turned Offord before producing a smart finish low and hard into the far corner.

Four minutes additional time was indicated by the fourth official, giving the Reds that last bit of hope that they could get that winner.

In the 91st minute, Finney did just that, giving the fans back home that early Christmas gift!

A superb reaction from Artell’s men. Murphy launched a cross from the centre of the pitch towards Porter, climbing highest he headed down to the route of Finney who made no mistake from 10 yards.

Unbeaten in five league games for the Reds, winning four and drawing one. Three consecutive wins all by the same 2-1 scoreline.

Full Time: AFC Wimbledon 1 vs 2 Crewe Alexandra

Published by rpountainsport

1st year undergraduate studying Sports Journalism at University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)

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