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By Adam Harwood, AFC Wimbledon correspondent
Sunday, January 29, 2012
League Two: AFC Wimbledon 1 Aldershot Town 2
AFC Wimbledon’s recent winning streak came to an abrupt end after Dean Holdsworth’s Aldershot made the short trip to Kingsmeadow and stole the three points.
The Dons, who had come from behind to take the spoils in each of their previous three matches, fell behind twice in front of a packed stadium, but couldn’t find a second equaliser to answer left-back Anthony Straker’s unlikely double.
Aldershot, who were without a win or indeed a goal in their last five matches, started the stronger with a fluid passing play that would stifle the Wimbledon midfield talents of Billy Knott and George Moncur throughout.
Striker Danny Hylton, a former Dons target, saw an early header well tipped over by home keeper Seb Brown - and after just 12 minutes Town had the lead.
Straker burst forward from the left touchline, playing a neat one-two that bamboozled the Dons defence, before slotting the ball comfortably under Brown.
Aldershot were knocking the ball around well and dominating possession, but Wimbledon equalised against the run of play on the half-hour mark.
Luke Moore was upended by Darren Jones on the edge of the Shots area and, although the ball fizzed across for Moncur to strike wide, the referee had already stopped play to award a free-kick in a dangerous situation - and Sammy Moore took full advantage via a huge deflection to record his second goal in successive games.
Wimbledon then enjoyed their best spell of the match with top scorer Jack Midson twice going close to giving the hosts a half-time lead, but the 1-1 scoreline at the break was reflective of the balance of play.
Both teams made a change at the interval, with the effective Luke Moore succumbing to injury and being replaced by Rashid Yusseff, while Jamie Collins gave way in the Shots midfield for Aaron Morris.
It was the away team who had the better of most of the play in the second half, with Hilton in particular failing to take advantage of lapses in the Dons defence when sliding in a few yards out.
Wimbledon attacks were limited, but Ross Werner did have to pull a fabulous save with his legs from Midson’s low effort after the striker had latched onto a long ball from Sammy Moore.
The winner, however, came out of nothing as Aldershot broke incisively and moved the ball left to Straker, who saw his effort from a narrow angle nestle in the back of the net for his second goal of the game.
The killer blow was aided by a slight deflection off Moore - but Brown will have been disappointed to be beaten at his near post.
With time running out, Wimbledon’s urgency finally began to convert into chances.
Substitute Jason Prior, signed from Bognor Regis Town just two days earlier, went close with a near-range effort, while Christian Jolley really should have done better than smashing way over the bar from six yards out when a Moore free-kick played havoc in the Aldershot defence.
But in truth, Town had done their homework on the Dons - an accomplishment Terry Brown reluctantly admitted after the game.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Hoyte, Gwillim, S Moore, Mitchel-King, Stuart, Knott, Moncur (Prior 75), Midson, Harrison (Jolley 67), L Moore (Yusseff 46)
Attendance: 4,634 (638 from Aldershot Town)