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Report: AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Wycombe

18 April 2015

Blues were forced to settle for a point in tough conditions as injuries took their toll at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Matt Bloomfield and Nico Yennaris were both struck down in the first half to add to a number of knocks the visitors had suffered in midweek, and they found chances hard to come by against a well-drilled Wimbledon outfit.

There was more bad news when Aaron Pierre was dismissed for a second yellow card late on, meaning he'll miss the visit of Morecambe to Adams Park next week.

Gareth Ainsworth’s medical staff worked their magic in midweek to patch together a strong side after the exertions of their last-gasp victory over Exeter, although Matt McClure and Aaron Holloway missed out through injury, joining Sido Jombati and Joe Jacobson amongst the absentees.

The first opening fell for Steven Craig whose first-time shot was deflected wide after Paul Hayes’ low cross fell into his path, before injury struck again in unfortunate circumstances when Peter Murphy and Matt Bloomfield clashed heads in the air, leaving the latter unable to continue with Marcus Bean taking his place.

Wanderers seemed to be holding the upper hand without testing the opposition keeper, and in fact it was the Dons who came closest to breaking the deadlock as Sean Rigg’s cross found Adebayo Akinfenwa, whose header struck the post and bounced to safety.

Goalscoring opportunities were few and far between as the half wore on, with Wimbledon finding most of their creativity coming down the left flank through Sean Rigg, but the visiting defence held firm.

Ainsworth’s men were dealt another blow when Nico Yennaris was forced off, feeling the effects of his midweek injury or another problem sustained in an aerial battle with Akinfenwa, so Max Kretzschmar made his long-awaited return in his place.

Six minutes of stoppage time ended after the Dons had applied plenty of pressure to the Wanderers backline without finding a way through, and there were no further changes in personnel at the break although Marcus Bean slotted in at right-back, with Kretzschmar reverting to midfield.

Blues began strongly, helped by a handful of needless foul from Dons defenders which enabled Sam Saunders to apply pressure to the box via set-pieces. The best chance fell to Steven Craig on the half volley after Aaron Pierre kept the ball alive at the back post, but the Scotsman’s strike flew over the bar.

Wimbledon rediscovered their momentum and saw Akinfenwa put a diving header wide midway through the half, before Sam Saunders found himself unable to continue with Hogan Ephraim coming on in his place.

The hosts then made a triple change before Matt Ingram reacted superbly to keep out Marcus Bean’s sliding clearance, before Fred Onyedinma almost got the better of Barry Fuller when latching on to a long ball, but the keeper claimed it.

Wanderers’ hopes of claiming a late victory were hit with a second yellow card to Aaron Pierre for barging Tom Beere off the ball as the youngster surged forward, and both teams were forced to settle for a draw which leaves the Chairboys hoping for a draw between Bury and Southend on Tuesday night to keep matters in their hands.

Wycombe: Ingram, Yennaris, Wood, Mawson, Pierre, Saunders (Ephraim 69), Bloomfield (Bean 8), Murphy, Onydinma, Craig, Hayes.

Unused subs: Lynch, Fletcher.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Oshilaja, Goodman, Francomb (Beere 83), Bulman, Reeves, Tanner (Harrison 83), Rigg (Fitzpatrick 83), Azeez, Akinfenwa.

Unused subs: Worner, Oakley, Sweeney, Gallagher.

Referee: Mr T Kettle

Attendance:  4,535 (845 from Wycombe)

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