BY DANIEL MARSH
Jack Rudoni’s first ever senior goal was enough to secure AFC Wimbledon a narrow 1-0 triumph at Bristol Rovers to advance into the EFL trophy quarter-finals.
Academy graduate Rudoni picked the perfect time to break his Dons duck to guide Wimbledon into the last eight of the EFL trophy.
Glyn Hodges gave a debut to new loan arrival Sam Walker in goal whilst also making the tactical switch to a back four.
Wimbledon probably shaded a particularly dour first half but failed to worry former loan-star Joe Day in the Rovers goal, with little goalmouth action taking place at either end.
The Gas almost grabbed the goal that the game so desperately needed, but Mark Little saw his deft header rebound back off of the crossbar to keep Walker’s clean sheet intact at the interval on his first Dons appearance.
The second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the first, with a lot of graft but very little craft.
Finally on the hour-mark the deadlock was broken by Rudoni.
So often it’s the duo of Rudoni and Ryan Longman who drive Wimbledon forward on the transitions, and the two combined to good effect for the goal. Longman’s trickery took him into the box before he teed up Rudoni to steer a well-struck effort into the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the Rovers penalty area.
The hosts made eight changes for the match and shuffled their pack following Rudoni’s goal, making a host of changes. One of those late arrivals, Jonah Ayunga, came close to drawing Rovers level but was thwarted by Walker.
Wimbledon could and perhaps should have made the game safe late on when Alex Woodyard was played through but he failed to hit the target from close range. Rudoni then went close to grabbing a second but the one goal was enough to seal the Dons progression into the last eight.
PHOTO: KEITH GILLARD
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