Jack Rudoni clinches FA Cup penalty shootout win for Dons at Barrow

AFC Wimbledon finally saw off plucky Barrow in the FA Cup – but only after a penalty shoot out following a 120-minute  stalemate.

Man-of-the-match Jack Rudoni dispatched the coolest of kicks to see the Dons through after Nik Tzanev had earlier saved from Dior Angus to earn the South Londoners a Sunday second round tie with Crawley Town.

It was a much-changed Dons side from that narrowly beaten by Gillingham on Tuesday.

Manager Glyn Hodges rested Connal Trueman, opting for Tzanev. Ollie Palmer was handed a first start as Joe Pigott, Ryan Longman, Callum Reilly, Steve Seddon and Shane McLoughlin all dropped to the bench having played so many minutes in the congested fixture list.

Captain Will Nightingale should have opened the scoring in the first minute but fired wide following a set-piece.

Despite all the changes the Dons were the by far the more fluid in the early exchanges with Palmer looking very much the part in his old-fashioned number nine role. Wimbledon however were unable to trouble Josh Lillis in the Barrow goal.

Barrow so nearly punished their visitors when Dimitri Sea benefitted as the AFC Wimbledon defence parted like his Red namesake and he thundered a shot against Tzanev’s far post.

The second half was much more even and although there were few chances Anthony Hartigan could have won it with the last kick but his shot flew just over.

With a line up closer to their normal starting 11 and their superior quality and fitness, Wimbledon would have fancied their chances but try as they might they could not break the deadlock and it was left to the Don’s youngster to see them over the line on spot-kicks.

PHOTOS: SEAN GOSLING


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