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Dons defeat dire Blues
Wycombe Wanderers 0, AFC Wimbledon 3.
WANDERERS crashed to a heavy home defeat against AFC Wimbledon as their poor run of form continued.
They had another man sent off as Anthony Stewart was given his second red card of the season, meaning Wanderers have now had seven men dismissed over the course of the campaign.
By then Blues already looked well beaten as Charlie Wyke scored on his debut after signing from Middlesbrough the day before and Sammy Moore scored a crisp second.
Stewart’s dismissal, which resulted in a penalty that was coolly tucked away by Jack Midson, put the seal on the worst day of the season for Wanderers – with fans now starting to look nervously over their shoulder as the gap between their side and the dreaded bottom two decreases on a weekly basis.
The Dons were wretchedly out of form themselves going into the game but strolled to an emphatic and easy victory against a Wycombe side who simply looked out of ideas - prompted boos and chants of 'What a load of rubbish' at the final whistle from the disgruntled Adams Park faithful.
Their side had started well as Billy Knott skewed an early chance off target after a driving run from midfield took him clear of two visiting players, before advancing full back Jim Fenlon - who was also sent off late on - pulled his effort wide of the far post as the Dons fired their first warning shot.
Wanderers, having not played for a week while their opponents faced two additional fixtures, made the livelier start as a cross from Nick Arnold drifted just past the post and Marvin McCoy rifled a fierce shot just wide.
But after that initial burst of activity the home side went too direct too often, with crosses aimed in the direction of the box being too high for the isolated lone striker Jo Kuffour to do anything with and the chances dried up.
And it was the out of form visitors, who had managed just one goal in their previous five games, who came closest to breaking the deadlock early on as former Wanderer Will Antwi saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by Sam Wood.
The hosts responded as Kuffour dug out a pass for Arnold, and after a talented one-two with Knott the defender fired in a low shot that drew a smart stop from Wimbledon keeper Ross Worner.
His opposite number Matt Ingram was then called into action for the first time as he beat away a shot from distance by midfielder Harry Pell, although it was as much as the Dons were able to create as they struggled to break through the protective barrier of Stuart Lewis and Josh Scowen in front of the Wanderers back four.
The best chance of the first half came in stoppage time when Wanderers remembered how to pass the ball around on the floor with Kuffour and Paris Cowan-Hall combining to create an opening for Wood, whose effort flashed inches wide of the upright.
The pattern of play in the first half suggested the game was likely to end goalless but the visitors edged their noses in front five minutes after the break. Debutant Wyke got his head to an inswinging free kick and sent the ball down into the turf, from where it looped up onto the underside of the bar before dropping into the net.
That goal gave the Dons a confidence boost and the immense frame of Pell skilfully jinked into the area before blazing off target as the space opened up in front of him.
Gareth Ainsworth responded by replacing Kuffour with joint top scorer Matt McClure and Knott with Steven Craig, as he went back to two up front in a bid to salvage something from the game.
The formation change allowed Cowan-Hall more licence to roam down the flank and his cut back was scuffed over the bar by Scowen, but Wimbledon continued to create chances as Ingram saved from Fenlon and Stewart had to make another athletic last-ditch tackle to stop Luke Moore getting a shot away.
A second goal was coming and it was provided by Wyke as the home defence couldn’t clear the ball and it sat up perfectly for Sammy Moore to rifle into the bottom corner and make the game safe with quarter of an hour still to play.
There was still time for things to get even worse for Blues though. Stewart, who had been booked for a foul moments before, mistimed another challenge in his efforts to stop substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce and he was received his second yellow card in conceding a penalty. Midson stepped up to convert, sending Ingram the wrong way to wrap up a miserable afternoon for Wanderers.
The game finished ten a side as Fenlon flew in at Scowen and was shown a straight red card late on.
Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Johnson, Stewart, McCoy (sub Morias), Lewis, Scowen, Cowan-Hall, Knott (sub Craig), Wood, Kuffour (sub McClure). Substitutes not used: Horlock, Doherty, Bloomfield, Kretzschmar.
Attendance: 3,513 (701 from Wimbledon)
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