AFC Wimbledon Match Report
Newport County AFC made 3 changes to the team that started on the weekend against Cheltenham with Worley returning after suspension in place of Andrew Hughes, Porter coming in for Minshull and Howe being replaced by Jolley who was starting against his previous club AFC Wimbledon.
It was Jolley who was the liveliest player on the heavy Rodney Parade pitch in the opening minutes with several direct runs unsettling the AFC Wimbledon defence. The away side gradually came into the game and Burge needed to make an excellent last ditch tackle on 12 minutes as Collins shaped to shoot for the visitors. This lifted AFC Wimbledon and Yakubu did well to first head away a dangerous cross and then clear the resultant corner under pressure from several of his former colleagues.
Luke Moore burst through on 27 minutes but on loan keeper Parish smothered his effort and the danger was cleared before Anthony needed treatment after blocking Moore's follow up shot. The County captain was a little groggy but resumed his role in the centre of the defence after treatment from the physio.
Chapman was getting more into the game and he volleyed just wide from 20 yards on 38 minutes as County pressed for the opening goal. However, neither team could assert their authority on the pitch and the referee blew to end a scrappy half.
Half Time 0-0
AFC Wimbledon had claims for a penalty waved away in the opening minutes of the second half before Jolley again started the half brightly and his drive forward on the right and subsequent shot was narrowly wide into the side netting.
Midson burst through on 56 minutes but Burge's last ditch tackle was enough to avert the danger. On the hour mark Justin Edinburgh replaced the front 2 of Zebroski and Jolley with Jeffers and Howe and within a minute County took the lead. Yakubu's free kick on the half way line sailed into the AFC Wimbledon area and Howe challenged Worner with the ball bouncing gently into the corner of then net. Despite protestations from the away team the referee was already running back to the half way line and County were 1 up.
Luke Moore broke through again on 63 minutes but was thwarted with a double save from Parish before Midson was flagged offside as he rammed the rebound high into the net. AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley then made a double substitution of his own on 68 minutes with Sheringham and Wyke coming on for Midson and Hylton. 5 minutes later the visitors made their final substitution as former Cardiff City winger Kevin Sainte-Luce replaced Fenlon.
County continued to press and Burge drove through on 77 minutes but was held back with a clumsy and unfair challenge on the edge of the 18 yard box by Antwi which resulted in a yellow card for the AFC Wimbledon defender and Sandell's low driven free kick was gathered at the second attempt by Worner. Chapman then curled in a dangerous free kick from 40 yards which Worner had to tip over the bar as the game opened up.
With 7 minutes left AFC Wimbledon equalised from an in-swinging left footed corner that was bundled in by Sheringham at the far post from 3 yards out. This spurred the home side on and a far post cross from the right was headed back across goal by Howe to Jeffers who half volleyed narrowly wide.
On 86 minutes the away side took the lead as Sainte-Luce cut in from the left and hit the ball fiercely past Parish on the near post with a rising drive from 10 yards. Newport County AFC desperately searched for an equaliser and another AFC Wimbledon old boy came on in the form of Minshull for Porter but despite 5 minutes of added time the County were unable to score a second goal and the visitors took the points.
Final Score: 1-2
County: Parish, Porter (Minshull 87), Yakubu, Chapman, Zebroski (Howe 60), Willmott, Sandell, Burge, Anthony (Capt.), Worley, Jolley (Jeffers 60)
Subs: Pipe, Minshull, Crow, Jeffers, Jackson, Naylor, Howe
Goal: Howe 61min
AFC Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Fenlon (Sainte Luce 73), S. Moore, Jones, Bennett (Capt.), L. Moore, Antwi, Hylton (Wyke 68), Midson (Sheringham 68), Collins
Subs: Brown, Wyke, Pell, Nicholson, Arthur, Sainte-Luce, Sheringham
Goals: Sheringham 83, Sainte Luce 86
Referee: T. Robinson