BY DAVE HUNT-JACKSON
AFC Wimbledon and their hosts Burton Albion shared the points in a drab encounter at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday. The weather did not help nor did the wet playing surface that went from greasy to heavy as the heavens opened during the game.
Dons manager Glyn Hodges named an unchanged starting line up from the team that had held their own against high-flying Hull City in Tuesday’s narrow defeat and they matched their hosts again. Unfortunately, unlike Hull, the Brewers are simply not very good and the South Londoners were significantly below their best in missing another chance to grab all three points.
Ollie Palmer was on the bench in his first sighting since his summer arrival from Crawley Town but an early injury to Jaakko Oksanen meant he will have to wait for his debut. Wimbledon will need him as Joe Pigott has played every minute of the season and looked understandably tired after playing the lone striker role twice in four days.
In all bar one of their league games this term the Dons have led and so it proved again, although this time for less than a minute,
No sooner had Ryan Longman embarrassed home keeper Kieran O’Hara at his near post with a fine low shot than Kane Hemmings beat Daniel Csoka to Colin Daniel’s cross and Burton were level.
That in a nutshell was the match.
Aside from a Steven Lawless effort, saved well by Connal Trueman, neither side looked like adding to the scoreline and neither side deserved more than a share of the spoils. As the games come thick and fast Hodges will need to rotate his strike force and also to sort out the continuing defensive frailties as his men conceded another very avoidable goal.
Goals have dried up for the Dons after their free-scoring start to the season and they will need Palmer, Longman and Adam Roscrow to step up and take some of the workload from Pigott.
Fans may begin to wonder why homegrown talent Will Nightingale and Paul Kalambayi find themselves behind Csoka in the pecking order with the Hungarian again caught out for the goal.
The good news is that AFC Wimbledon sit in mid-table and need minor tweaks – not wholesale changes – to advance up the league.
Wimbledon entertain Blackpool on Tuesday for their last “home” game at the Kiyan Prince Stadium before the much-awaited opening of the new stadium a week later. The perfect preparation for that emotional homecoming would be victory over the Tangerines and a win on Saturday too.
Alex Woodyard. An all-action midfield display in which he covered every blade of grass.
An excellent save from Connal Trueman to deny Burton’s Steven Lawless.
PICTURES: SEAN GOSLING
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