AFC Wimbledon verdict is in on Accrington Stanley loss – Longman and Pigott partnership could be key to a successful season

BY NICK KITUNO

All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes, and that is what happened when Accrington Stanley came from behind to beat AFC Wimbledon 2-1 on Saturday.

While Ryan Longman’s second goal of the season put them in front, a quick-fire double saw Stanley enter the break with the lead and ultimately an unbeaten start to the League One campaign.

The Brighton loanee struck inside 18 minutes before Ross Sykes found the top-right corner with an equaliser with four minutes to go in the first half.

Stanley took the lead on the stroke of half-time, and they did so through Matt Butcher’s angled low drive into the far corner of the net.

A resilient and well-organised Stanley proved hard to break down, and it was only late on where they came closest to snatching a leveller.

Substitute Ethan Chislett was thwarted by the onrushing goalkeeper Toby Savin before Shane McLoughlin’s effort came back off the post. Longman could only direct the rebound wide of the target.

Dons boss Glyn Hodges admitted after the game that his side failed to create enough clear-cut chances, and what was strange was that the performance did not reflect one of a team that had been dominated.

What will frustrate him is how, for the third time in nearly as many games, they have edged ahead but not come away with all three points.

Against Northampton Town, strikes from Chislett and Nesta Guinness-Walker were twice cancelled out as the sides played out a 2-2 draw. The following week, Wimbledon let slip a 4-2 lead and ended up drawing 4-4 with Plymouth Argyle.

Unlike the Argyle draw, where they were perhaps fortunate to still get something from the game, it was the lack of a clinical touch which let them down and ended their unbeaten start.

There were positives, though. McLoughlin and Steve Seddon rampaged down the flanks with great bursts of energy, while the back three comprising Terell Thomas, Luke O’Neill and Paul Kalambayi looked otherwise assured.

Longman also scored again, and a budding partnership up top with captain Joe Pigott could be one of the keys to this season.

STAR MAN
Ryan Longman. Gave the defence some trouble with his darting runs and deserved his goal.

BEST MOMENT

The Pigott strike which came back off the post, only for Longman to follow it in, showed Wimbledon’s real intent despite the lack of clinical chances.

PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD


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