BY RICHARD CAWLEY
AFC Wimbledon banked an extra point in the EFL Trophy after a 4-2 penalty shootout win at The Valley.
The match finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.
The opening goal was scrappy with Anthony Hartigan’s strike took a double deflection.
Naby Sarr, captaining a much-changed home side on the night, restored parity just before the break.
The second-half goals were top quality. Tom Soares produced a sublime strike from distance to put the Dons 2-1 ahead before former Dulwich Hamlet full-back Jamie Mascoll opened his goal account for Charlton.
That took the contest into a penalty shootout to determine who got the extra point in Group G.
Wimbledon’s penalties were all excellent with Jed Steer only getting close to one of them.
Kwesi Appiah, Anthony Hartigan, Mitch Pinnock and James Hanson all converted.
Nicky Ajose’s effort was saved and although Albie Morgan did find the top left corner of the net it was followed by a tame effort from George Lapslie. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild was successful but it did not matter after Hanson showed total composure with the eighth kick.
Charlton started brightly and had their opponents on the back foot in the opening exchanges.
A Ben Reeves cross was met by Lapslie but Joe McDonnell pawed away his close-range header.
Wimbledon gradually settled down and Hanson struck over on 21 minutes, but their threat was more on the counter with the Addicks retaining possession relatively well.
Igor Vetokele teed up a chance for Mark Marshall but his shot cleared the left post.
Wimbledon’s goal on 27 minutes was highly fortunate. An initial shot was blocked but it fell to Hartigan and his follow-up took deflections off both Kenneth Yao and Taylor Maloney to wrongfoot Jed Steer.
Charlton rode their luck soon after. Vetokele thought the ball had gone out as he battled Tyler Garratt but the left-back cut back for Tyrell Thomas, who produced a wild finish into the empty stand.
Jake Jervis glanced Mitchell Pinnock’s left-wing delivery wide before Sarr’s equaliser.
Morgan’s free-kick was perfect for Sarr at the back post and the big French defender swept in from a few yards out.
Four minutes into the second half and Wimbledon had their lead again. Soares let fly from over 20 yards and it sailed past Steer and into the top right corner of the net.
The Addicks made a change shortly after as Reeves was replaced by Mascoll.
Vetokele headed over at the back post from a testing Marshall cross on the hour mark.
Steer parried away Pinnock’s 69th-minute strike, with Charlton struggling for end product down the other end.
Yao produced a great run in the closing stages as he bombed into the Dons penalty area but could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.
Mascoll levelled matters up with just over six minutes remaining. Fellow substitute Ajose pushed the ball into the wing-back’s path and he produced a dipping hit which clipped down off the bar and into the net.
Ajose was mightily close to a third after George Lapslie broke away from his marker to feed the frontman, who shifted onto his right foot before unleashing a curler.
Instead it went to penalties and Wimbledon were the more clinical.
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