BY DANIEL MARSH
AFC Wimbledon bounced back from disappointment at the weekend to claim a good point with a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.
Joe Pigott gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of the interval from the penalty spot after Jack Rudoni was hauled down in the box. Bailey Wright slammed home after the break to draw the hosts level.
Sunderland dominated the early proceedings and Will Grigg spurned a good chance after just six minutes, scuffing a shot weakly into the grateful arms of Connal Trueman.
Wimbledon were starved of the ball for the majority of the opening period, but they seemed relatively happy to sit deep and pick their moments on the break. Ryan Longman was a constant outlet on the right flank, and his superb solo run deserved a better finish at the end of it.
For all their possession, the hosts failed to convert that into any real goal threat. Their best opportunity of the first half fell to George Dobson, but the midfielder couldn’t sort his feet out six yards from goal to convert a devilish delivery from Jack Diamond.
Rudoni’s trickery was causing the hosts issues, and his fleet-footed foray took him beyond Callum McFadzean and into the penalty area, where he was dragged down by the Sunderland man. Skipper Pigott stepped up to coolly convert his 10th goal of the season, and to give the Dons something to hold on to after the break.
Unfortunately, Wimbledon have made a habit of surrendering points from winning positions this season – and lightning struck once again at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland found their equaliser in the 62nd minute. The hosts recycled a poor set-piece, with Wright lurking at the back post. The defender shrugged off Shane McLoughlin to lash a volley beyond the helpless Trueman.
That goal seemed to galvanise the visitors, and they fought back almost instantly. The lively Longman was at the heart of things again for the Dons, and he was denied the goal his performance deserved by the crossbar.
Wimbledon continued to probe after conceding and began to slowly take control. Pigott played a super ball through to McLaughlin, with the Dons wing-back having time to tee up his effort – but he could only slice wide with the goal at his mercy.
The visitors still almost snatched all three points, but Terell Thomas couldn’t convert a corner in the game’s closing stages as both sides shared the spoils.
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