Defensive errors need to be eradicated as Glyn Hodges starts interim spell in charge with Posh defeat

PETERBOROUGH 3
Maddison 29 Eisa 41, 66
AFC WIMBLEDON 2
Pinnock 52 Wordsworth 78

BY DAVE HUNT-JACKSON AT THE WESTON HOMES STADIUM

Glyn Hodges reign as interim manager began with defeat at Peterborough in a game where four of the goals came from errors – AFC Wimbledon left to rue individual mistakes by both themselves and the officials.

Hodges promised tweaks but some of the changes were forced upon him with only three fit centre-halves and two strikers with Adam Roscow and Michael Folivi injured and Marcus Forss suspended.

He did hand a first start to Max Sanders with Anthony Hartigan dropping to bench and a first league start to Paul Osew at the expense of Nester Guinness-Walker.

Osew was excellent and at times he was the Dons’ biggest attacking threat. Neither he or Ryan Delaney were able to stop Mohamed Eisa dancing past them to double Posh’s lead. Guinness-Walker has been one of the few pluses in a difficult season, made worse by manager Wally Downes being suspensed for alleged breaches of the FA’s gambling rules.

Whils the Dons seem to have an embarrassment of riches on the left side, the same cannot be said on the right. After a very promising start Luke O’Neill has rather lost his way and a shocking first touch gifted the ball to Marcus Maddison for the hosts’ opener.

It seems that Hodges has asked his charges to adopt a passing game and they enjoyed more possession than at probably any time this season. Unfortunately with a passing game comes the responsibility not to give the ball away in dangerous areas but that was exactly what O’Neill did.

Sanders was running the midfield and part of most of the good things that Wimbledon did going forward. When Anthony Wordsworth, pictured inset, came on the South Londoners really took the game to Peterborough, especially after Mitch Pinnock’s tame effort somehow squirmed under Posh keeper Christy Pym.

Joe Pigott had a goal disallowed and Wordsworth marked his return with a fine strike for the visitors’ second but the killer blow was struck by the officials, who failed to spot Eisa a yard offside as he struck what turned out to be the winner.

It is still early in the season and only three teams go down. Bolton’s points deduction keeps Wimbledon off the foot of the table but they are already six points from safety and still without a win or an away point.

Despite this, there is no sense that Hodge’s men are out of their depth. Only Sunderland have really outclassed them and of course they have dropped a ridiculous 16 points from winning positions.

This second-half performance against the divisions’ top scorers shows again what they are capable of.

The quality of football reflects the philosophy of one of Wimbledon’s most creative midfielders.

How long Hodge’s remains in charge is anybody’s guess. But on this showing there cause for optimism and a sense that if he can eradicate the defensive errors they are in safe hands.

The question for Dons’ fans will be can Wimbledon repeat the “Great Escape” of last year. With Hodges at the wheel you wouldn’t bet against it.

AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Trott 89, O’Neill 6, Osew 7, Delaney 7, Sanders 8, Thomas 7 (Pinnock 46, 7), Appiah 7, Nightingale 6, Wagstaff 8, Pigott 7, Reilly 6 (Wordsworth 46, 8). Not used: Tzanev, Hartigan, Stabana, Guinness-Walker, McLoughlin.


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