AFC WimbledonSport

‘Really impacting games’ – AFC Wimbledon boss praises Stockport County loanee

AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson praised Stockport loanee Connor Lemonheigh-Evans is beginning to truly impact games for his side after Monday night’s FA Cup second round win over Isthmian League South East Division Ramsgate.

Lemonheigh-Evans scored the fourth goal of the evening, cutting onto his right foot and curling a shot beyond Rams keeper Thomas Hadler from the edge of the box.

The 26-year-old joined the Dons on deadline day in the summer transfer window and has started the last four outings for Jackson.

He scored his first goal in the 3-1 win at Walsall in September but then missed a handful of games due to a hamstring injury.

Jackson said: “When he first came, he hadn’t been playing regularly and he couldn’t play in the EFL Trophy.

“It was a bit of a stop start for him. He played but then picked up a little niggle – it took a while for him to get going.

“We could see his quality with what he was doing in training. I knew about that anyway – that’s why I signed him.

“He’s in the team now and he’s really impacting games.

“He’s a big talent and he’s really enjoying his football here.

“He’s become a really big part of this team.”

Wimbledon will host Championship high-flyers Ipswich in the next round of the third round of the FA Cup.

The Dons took the lead against Ramsgate after eight minutes when Ali Al Hamadi capitalised on a mistake at the back and played the ball along the face of the box for Jake Reeves to smash beyond Hadler.

Forward Al-Hamadi then doubled the lead in the 26th minute when Hadler palmed an effort into the path of the Iraqi international to head home.

Josh Neufville then added a third before half-time when the ball landed to him on the edge of the box and he slotted a shot beyond a crowd of Ramsgate bodies.

Al-Hamadi grabbed another and Lemonheigh-Evans scored in the second half to wrap up the encounter and book Wimbledon’s place in the next round.

“I’m really impressed with my team’s performance tonight,” said Jackson.

“These can be really difficult. They have nothing to lose and have a massive following – all of the pressure is on us as a team to get the result.

“We didn’t give them a sniff. We took the game away from them and that’s credit to my players.

“The team I picked was a strong one to show respect to the opposition and the competition.”

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