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AFC Wimbledon and Aldershot share spoils in relegation six-pointer

New AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley with Assistant Manager Neil Cox (left), First Team Coach Simon Bassey (right). Photo credit: Zoe Linkson/AFC Wimbledon Handout/PA Wire. New AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley with Assistant Manager Neil Cox (left), First Team Coach Simon Bassey (right). Photo credit: Zoe Linkson/AFC Wimbledon Handout/PA Wire.

By Adam Harwood, at Cherry Red Records Stadium
Saturday, November 17, 2012
5:37 PM

League Two: AFC Wimbledon 1 Aldershot 1

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AFC Wimbledon and Aldershot Town showed why they are both in a relegation dogfight at the foot of League Two after sharing the honours at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.

In a dour encounter, the Dons were fortunate that a 75th minute Stacy Long free kick eluded everyone to snatch the point after Daniel Lopez’s close range had put the Shots in front in first half injury time.

The game was short of quality and chances, but Wimbledon should have taken the lead with a rare first half attack. From the Dons’ first corner, the ball went over everyone but the onrushing Curtis Osano, the right back smashing a shot against the crossbar from five yards when it looked easier to score.

But the impressive Danny Hylton should have had the visitors ahead ten minutes later. From their own corner, Hylton powered a free header well over the bar.

With a whistle happy referee ensuring the game lacked flow, Aldershot took the lead at the end of a half that they shaded. A free kick was half cleared by the Wimbledon defence, but the ball fell kindly to Lopez, whose drilled shot gave on-loan Wimbledon keeper Neil Sullivan, making his debut for the AFC incarnation after many appearances for the old Wimbledon, no chance.

While a Byron Harrison cross clipped the bar within two minutes of the restart, Wimbledon continued to struggle to show anything in terms of quality or creating chances. Long ball after long ball didn’t help the Dons flow, and they were restricted to long range efforts from Jake Reeves and Kieran Djilali. At the other end, Lopez had a golden chance to double his goal tally with a carbon copy chance of his goal, this time shooting straight at Sullivan.

Yet with fifteen minutes to go, Stacy Long took a free kick from the touchline 40 yards out. The ball eluded everyone and nestled into the corner of the Aldershot net, somewhat letting the home side off the hook.

If anything it was Aldershot who looked like snatching a late winner, but with no real further chances the referee blew to end a disappointing afternoon for the home team. Their consolation is that this point keeps them four points above the bottom two, and the Dons move up a place to 20th.

AFC Wimbledon: Sullivan, Osano, Meades, Long, Mambo, Antwi, Reeves, Gregory (Merrifield), Harrison, Midson, Strutton (Djilali)

Attendance 4,321

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