March 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Rushden & Diamonds produced a spirited second-half performance, but were unable to get back on terms after Wimbledon had taken the lead with a first-half penalty from Danny Kedwell. The Diamonds hit the post, had a goal controversially disallowed for offside, and several penalty appeals turned down, and saw home keeper Seb Brown make several good saves as they put in a much improved display in the second period.
Justin Edinburgh was able to name an unchanged side, with Justin Miller taking a place on the bench on his return from injury.
Dons manager Terry Brown included recent signing Kaid Mohamed and returning loanee in his starting line-up, as well as Danny Kedwell on his return from injury.
The first half was dominated by the home side, and there were a couple of early scares when Joe Day struggled to adjust to how the swirling wind affected crosses and corners from the Dons left as his punches failed to clear the danger area.
The Diamonds’ fans were incensed when referee Atkin appeared to decide to show a yellow card to Matt Johnson after pleas from the home side – shortly after what looked a far worse challenge from Steven Gregory on Jamie Day had gone unpunished. Michael Corcoran also picked up a yellow, and a few minutes later he was penalised for his challenge on Kaid Mohamed after a cross from the right had eluded Huke and Oshodi. Danny Kedwell fired home the penalty.
Kedwell might have increased the Dons lead a few minutes later when he was allowed space in the area, but dragged his shot wide.
Ryan Jackson forced an excellent save from Joe Day as he was allowed space on the Dons right, and Kedwell saw a chip go over the bar after he outmuscled Eddie Oshodi.
Joe Day had recovered his composure after his early problems, and he did well to rush out of his area and clear after Michael Corcoran lost the ball to Rashid Yussuf
Half-Time: AFC Wimbledon 1 Rushden & Diamonds 0
Whilst the Diamonds might have felt they were fortunate to only be a goal behind at the break, such was the hosts domination of the first half, they more than made up for this in the second period.
The Diamonds management made the tactical decision to replace Eddie Oshodi with Justin Miller at the break, which allowed Michael Corcoran to move to centre back and take on the challenge presented by Danny Kedwell.
Alan Power forced a good save from Brown as his free kick found the gap in the Dons wall vacated by Max Porter. Ryan Charles was getting into the game much more, as the service to him improved, and he started running at the Dons defenders who appeared to struggle such runs in a similar way to how they had been tormented by Lee Tomlin in the equivalent game last season. A Charles cross produced claims for hand-ball in the area, but referee Atkin had appeared unsighted.
One of the few efforts on goal from the home side in the second period saw Joe Day save a Kedwell shot after Luke Moore had made a break down the left.
Justin Miller was getting forwards on the right, and a cross was only worked out to Jamie Day who had space towards the left-hand side of the area, but he could only fire over the bar.
As the game entered added time another excellent run by Miller saw his cross headed onto the post by Shane Huke.
An effort from Ryan Charles after he broke into the left side of the area was then tipped around for a corner by Brown after the final Diamonds change saw Joe Keehan replace Alan Power for only his second appearance in a league game for the Diamonds, and he also took over the responsibility for dead ball kicks on the left. As the game entered the third minute of added time the Diamonds came close once more as a Keehan corner almost reached Michael Gash. A Justin Miller throw then produced another Diamonds claim for handball in the area, but again referee Atkin denied these claims shortly before blowing the final whistle.
Full-Time: AFC Wimbledon 1 Rushden & Diamonds 0
The Diamonds now have a free week before travelling to Mansfield next weekend.
AFC Wimbledon: Seb Brown, Ryan Jackson (Luke Moore 66), Steven Gregory, Brett Johnson, Ricky Wellard, Sam Hatton, Ismail Yakubu, Danny Kedwell (Capt)(Drewe Broughton 83), Kaid Mohamed, Gareth Gwillim, Rashid Yussuff (Lee Minshull 87)
Subs Not Used: Kirk Hudson, Jack Turner
Rushden & Diamonds: Joe Day, Michael Corcoran, Jamie Day, Shane Huke, Eddie Oshodi (Justin Miller 45), Max Porter (Capt), Alan Power (Joe Keehan 82), Gary Mills, Matt Johnson (Craig Farrell 79), Michael Gash, Ryan Charles
Subs Not Used: Simon Evans (GK), Nabil Shariff
Goal: Kedwell (pen) 29
Yellow Cards: Johnson, Corcoran, Moore
Referee: Mr Warren Atkin (Sussex)
Attendance:3069 (away 120)