BY LAURENCE LOWNE
Hull City came to Plough Lane looking to restart their promotion push after a couple of middling performances – including a home reversal against Ipswich on Tuesday as Wimbledon beat Gillingham.
On a lovely sunny afternoon the course of the game was changed by the officious referee Craig Hicks, who gave the Tigers two penalties during their 3-0 win.
While they were the better side, the scoreline flattered them and, without the generosity of the referee, a draw might have been on the cards with Wimbledon dominating possession but lacking that cutting edge to score themselves.
The first penalty came about from a fine through ball, and the visiting Hull player fell to the ground under a challenge from Darnell Thomas. The spot-kick was dispatched by Josh Magennis on 24 minutes.
The second came from a free-kick which confused the whole defence.
A soft goal, which many would suggest could have been dealt with better by goalkeeper Sam Walker, since it appeared to bobble around the defence without anyone taking charge and dealing with it.
A goal all the same, and one which central defender Reece Burke will remember for a long time on his 100th League appearance for Hull.
The third goal in the 64th minute, another penalty, was controversial as Wimbledon captain Alex Woodyard thought he was fouled, and expected a free-kick – only for the referee to point to the spot. His protest led to a yellow card. This time Malik Wilks did the job for Hull.
No further goals and after a spate of substitutions Wimbledon once again dominated forcing a couple of quality saves. In particular Cheye Alexander was unlucky not to score a consolation in the final few minutes.
The scoreline was harsh, and in no way reflected the balance of play. Those keen to watch the video later will discover the reality of the penalty awards.
Two challenging games follow for Wimbledon on the road this week at Shrewsbury and Blackpool. Neither will be easy and head coach Mark Robinson will be focused on ensuring his team plays with conviction in both matches.
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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