Match Details: 12/09/2015
Yeovil Town 1-1 AFC Wimbledon
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Ryan Bird (26)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Stephen Arthurworrey, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 9. Ryan Bird, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Josh Wakefield, 26. Jake Howells,
Subs: 12. Chris Weale, 15. Jordan Gibbons, 19. Iffy Allen, 22. Mark Beck, 27. Max Melanson
Substitutes Used: Mark Beck for Omar Sowunmi (54 mins), Jordan Gibbons for Jake Howells (90 mins)
Yeovil Town had to settle for a draw against AFC Wimbledon this afternoon at Huish Park, despite another Ryan Bird goal giving them a half time advantage. Bird's third goal of the season appeared to be settling the Glovers on their way to a win, but the visitors enjoyed a much stronger second half, and struck the woodwork twice across the 90 minutes. They eventually equalised eleven minutes from time when Adebayo Akinfenwa converted from close range from a corner. Yeovil's day was marred by Omar Sowunmi being stretchered off with an ankle injury during the second half, adding to the club's lengthening injury list.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up - three on the teamsheet and then a fourth during the warm-ups. Ryan Bird replaced the suspended Shaun Jeffers, whilst Jake Howells made his debut for the club as he replaced the injured Jack Compton. In midfield, Josh Wakefield had recovered from an ankle injury and so replaced Jordan Gibbons who dropped to the bench. There was also a fourth change after the teamsheet had been printed, as Alex Lacey was withdrawn during the warm-ups, with Jakub Sokolik being forced into action, despite a cast on his arm protecting a fractured wrist.
A slow start gave Wimbledon the initial upper hand. Artur Kryiak had to save a George Francomb attempt, which saw Connor Roberts hack the loose ball away close to his goal line, then Krysiak saved again from a Tom Elliott effort. Yeovil gradually found their feet, with Omar Sowunmi particularly impressive in the way that he has improved as a defender-turned-striker. He fed Ryan Bird who shot over the bar, then a Matt Dolan free kick was saved by Dons keeper James Shea. Gradually the match became more even with Sowunmi firing just wide of the target before Adebayo Akinfenwa's shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved.
The 26th minute goal that gave Yeovil their advantage was a nicely worked set piece. A long throw-in by Swansea City full-back Connor Roberts was flicked on by Omar Sowunmi, and Ryan Bird perfectly anticipated the move to convert from close range for a 1-0 advantage. It wasn't a dominant 1-0 by any stretch of the imagination - Wimbledon had their chances during the opening 25 minutes, but it at least game the Glovers something to build on.
The Huish Park injury jinx that has plagued the 2015-16 campaign spread to the referee just after the goal. Referee Lee Swabey was making his competitive debut as a referee at Huish Park, but he lasted just 38 minutes of the match, before he pulled up and had to hand over his whistle to his assistant Adam Hopkins, as the officials rotated around, allowing Swabey to take over Fourth Official duties. The half finished with Wimbledon unlucky not to get an equalising goal, as a forward run from their midfielder Jake Reeves saw him fire off a shot that came off the inside of the post and came back out across the goal. But at half time, all was well.
The second half opened up quietly from both sides point of view, but nine minutes into the half came a nasty moment in the game. Dons centre-back Will Nightingale cynically took out Omar Sowunmi when the striker had beaten him, getting nowhere near the ball. Referee Adam Hopkins decided to just produce a yellow card. Sowunmi was not so lucky - after a lengthy delay he was stretchered off with an ankle injury, with Mark Beck having to replace him up front.
That change seemed to benefit Wimbledon far more than it did Yeovil, with Paul Robinson heading against the crossbar from a Tom Elliott cross as the visitors threatened. Will Nightingale was lucky again when he committed another foul on Mark Beck, earning him and Wimbledon's captain a lengthy talking to, giving the centre-back the benefit of a final warning.
As the game became more and more edgy, with the Glovers getting sucked too deep for their own good, Wimbledon won a corner in the 79th minute. George Francomb's delivery saw Artur Krysiak over-commit himself and Adebayo Akinfenwa headed home from close range for the equalising goal. On the balance of play, undoubtedly deserved, but frustrating that the Glovers had lost points from a winning position for the second weekend running.
The worry was that Yeovil might cave in at this stage, with some players looking dead on their feet, and seven minutes worth of injury time signalled - the majority of which was for the Omar Sowunmi injury. But they just about held out for a point that lifts them out of the relegation zone and above Barnet who lost at Portsmouth, with basement club Newport County also losing. Whilst that may therefore be a point gained, the injuries to Alex Lacey in pre-match and the worrying ankle problem suffered by Omar Sowunmi will cause manager Paul Sturrock further headaches, with all five loan places now used up, and the treatment table getting ever more crowded.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 AFC Wimbledon 1.
Scorers: Ryan Bird (1-0, 26 mins), Adebayo Akinfenwa (1-1, 79 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 5. Stephen Arthurworrey 6. Jakub Sololik 3. Nathan Smith (Captain)
23. Harry Cornick 25. Josh Wakefield 4. Matt Dolan 26. Jake Howells
17. Omar Sowumni 9. Ryan Bird
12. Chris Weale 15. Jordan Gibbons (90 mins for Jake Howells) 19. Iffy Allen 22. Mark Beck (54 mins for Omar Sowunmi) 27. Max Melanson
1. James Shea
2. Barry Fuller 6. Paul Robinson 5. Will Nightingale 12. Jonathan Meades
17. Andy Barcham 4. Dannie Bulman 8. Jake Reeves 7. George Francomb
10. Adebayo Akinfenwa 9. Tom Elliott
11. Sean Rigg (75 mins for Andy Barcham) 14. Adebayo Azeez (70 mins for Tom Elliott) 16. Tom Beere 20. Ryan Sweeney 22. Karleigh Osborne 24. Joe McDonnell 26. Egli Kaja
Yeovil Bookings: None.
AFC Wimbledon Bookings: Will Nightingale (50 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 40%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 1; Fouls: 6.
AFC Wimbledon Match Statistics: Possession: 60%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 7; Fouls: 16.
Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon). Assistants: Adam Hopkins (Devon) and Andrew Turner (Devon). Fourth Official: Chris Powell (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,687 (with 593 AFC Wimbledon supporters).