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Match Reports

Report: AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Wycombe

Blues remain unbeaten with third clean sheet from six.

31 August 2019

Wycombe continued their unbeaten start to the new season with a hard-earned point in a 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

The visitors had the greater chances in quality and quantity, particularly in the second half, but Scott Kashket, David Wheeler, Nick Freeman and Adebayo Akinfenwa were all unable to find the breakthrough as Wimbledon clung on for just their second point of the campaign.

Gareth Ainsworth was forced to do without injured forwards Paul Smyth and Fred Onyedinma, so David Wheeler came into the frontline while Nick Freeman was preferred to Alex Pattison in midfield.

Wanderers began brightly, and almost scored inside two minutes when Ryan Allsop’s long kick bounced through a crowd of players and towards the top corner, only for Wombles keeper Nathan Trott to intervene with a sharp response.

But then the hosts came back strongly, and it needed a fingertip save from Ryan Allsop to divert Nesta Guinness-Walker’s fierce cross-shot to safety, with Wimbledon’s fast-tempo approach beginning to pay dividends with space opening up down the flanks.

Wanderers were receiving no joy when it came to Adebayo Akinfenwa’s aerial duels, with referee Alan Young punishing him at every leap, but his strike partner Scott Kashket was looking dangerous with the ball at his feet, jinking his way into a shooting opportunity from 25 yards out, but finding the grateful gloves of Trott.

Dominic Gape and Wimbledon’s Will Nightingale were two of the stand-out performers early on, with the Wycombe midfielder winning the ball superbly to tee up Joe Jacobson who crossed for Akinfenwa, but his dangerous header back across the six-yard box was hooked to safety by the Dons’ skipper with Kashket lurking.

Then Scott Wagstaff unleashed a fierce drive at goal from 25 yards, which Allsop was equal to, and Luke O’Neill sliced a half-volley over the top following Joe Pigott’s cross from the left.

At the other end, Darius Charles flashed a header wide from Jacobson’s dangerous free-kick, and David Wheeler did excellently to start a counter-attack from deep which ended in Trott gathering a loose ball from Freeman’s cross.

The half ended goalless, but Pigott spurned a golden chance shortly after the interval, capitalising on Charles’ indecision but curling well over the bar from 15 yards.

Then, Kashket and Freeman combined well to pressure the hosts’ centre-back pairing which gave Freeman the chance to deliver a low cross from the byline, but Terell Thomas recovered in time to clear the danger.

The chance of the game then fell shortly after the hour-mark, and it should have been the simplest of goals for Kashket. Jacobson’s inswinging corner was flapped at by Trott and it caught an unmarked Kashket by surprising, bouncing off his thigh and towards the net only for Kwesi Appiah to scramble it off the line.

From the resulting corner, Charles’ bullet header fell for Akinfenwa with his back to goal, and his side-footed effort landed just wide as Wanderers’ players held their heads in their hands.

Appiah was then involved at the other end, sending a header into the turf before Allsop claimed comfortably, before Gareth Ainsworth made his first change, bringing Josh Parker into the attack at the expense of Kashket.

Another Wanderers counter-attack should have led to the breakthrough when Freeman fed Wheeler down the right, and after doing the hard part of shrugging off the challenge of Nightingale, he drilled low and wide of the far post as the angle tightened.

The ball was in the net moments later, but an offside flag denied Akinfenwa a goal on his former ground, as he tapped home after Trott parried Freeman’s fierce low shot into his path.

Chances kept coming, and Freeman should have done better when he jinked inside onto his left foot but lifted his chance high over the bar.

Wimbledon needed a change, and it came when Appiah was withdrawn for Adam Roscrow, who was handed his league debut.

He’d been on the pitch a matter of seconds when Wycombe won a free-kick right on the edge of the box when Bloomfield was clattered with a high boot, requiring a prolonged spell of treatment and an eventual substitution, with Alex Pattison taking his place. Joe Jacobson curled the resulting set-piece high over the bar, though.

Back came Wycombe, missing the target through Freeman after excellent play from Akinfenwa and Wheeler, before Nesta Guinness-Walker was booked for an act of dissent after not being awarded a free-kick.

Wimbledon had barely had a sniff in the second half, but were afforded a chance when Roscrow found space in the box in the closing stages, drilling hard and low but not with enough venom to beat Allsop.

They brought on Mitch Pinnock for Anthony Hartigan ahead of five minutes’ stoppage time, in which there were no further chances as Wanderers settled for a point from a game from which they could and probably should have had all three.

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