BY DAVE HUNT-JACKSON
AFC Wimbledon gave their survival hopes a massive boost with a 5-1 thrashing of Accrington Stanley that was as welcome as it was unexpected.
Head coach Mark Robinson rang the changes from the side that lost to Fleetwood with Alex Woodyard, back from suspension, replacing Jaakko Oksanen, Luke O’Neill preferred to Cheye Alexander and Ollie Palmer partnering Joe Pigott up front instead of Ryan Longman.
When Michael Nottingham put the Lancashire side ahead as he nodded in unchallenged after Wimbledon failed to deal with an early Sean McConville corner few could have imagined what was to follow.
If the Dons were disappointed with their defending Accrington will be more so as Ollie Palmer was on hand to nod in the equaliser after Toby Savin flapped horribly at an O’Neill corner.
Confidence-bolstered Palmer proceeded to cause havoc for Stanley, seemingly winning everything both in the air or on the floor and before the half was over the striker added a neat tap in for the Dons’ second and a delicious cross for Ayoub Assal to put the South Londoners two goals ahead at the break.
Although Stanley came out fighting at the start of the second period Wimbledon were in no mood to let their foot off the gas and top scorer Joe Pigott put the match to bed as he curled a free-kick beyond Savin for the Dons’ fourth. Assal rounded of the scoring as George Dobson put him clean through.
The only blot on the copybook was a late sending off for a second yellow card for Ben Heneghan but Wimbledon will take huge heart from a stunning display that lifts them out of the drop zone for the first time since February.
PICTURES: SEAN GOSLING
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