AFC WimbledonSport

Alex Woodyard: ‘Dons missed attacker’s quality in Sutton defeat’

Alex Woodyard believed that AFC Wimbledon missed Ayoub Assal’s quality in their 2-1 defeat to Sutton United on New Year’s Day.

The Dons went behind after 13 minutes when Will Randall’s shot from distance hit the post and bounced into Nik Tzanev’s net.

Josh Davison equalised for Johnnie Jackson’s side before half time. But Omar Buigel scored the winner for the hosts in the 69th minute – reacting quickest inside the area to tap home Alistair Smith’s rebounded shot.

Assal, 20, who has scored 10 goals and recorded five assists this season in all competitions, missed out on Sunday through illness.

Brentford loanee Nathan Young-Coombes started in place of Assal.

“He’s been so good for us,” Woodyard told the club’s YouTube channel of Assal’s absence.

“The way he gets at players – he’s such an attacking threat.

“You could tell we really missed him today.

“Hopefully, we can get him back as soon as possible because we need someone like Ayoub with his quality.”

The defeat saw AFC Wimbledon’s 10-game unbeaten run in League Two come to an end.

“Being realistic, there was always going to come a time when that unbeaten run was going to come to an end,” added Woodyard.

“The overriding disappointment would probably be the first-half performance in a game which is a big game for us.

“The disappointment would probably be the performance that we put in as a whole for the first 45 minutes was not good enough and up to the standards which we set ourselves.

“Today, we probably fell short all over the pitch. We got ourselves back in it but conceded a soft goal in the second half.

“The unbeaten runs are going to come to an end. We just have to make sure now that we get back to the best versions of ourselves and go and put another run together.

“We know we have the quality and the belief in the squad to do that again.”


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