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AFC Wimbledon 3-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 13th Apr 2021 20:33

Will Nightingale, Jack Rudoni and Ryan Longman were on target as AFC Wimbledon beat 10-man Town 3-0 at Plough Lane to record their first ever victory over the Blues. Nightingale headed in the opener on 21, Rudoni nodded home the second four minutes later, then in the 28th minute Josh Harrop was shown a straight red card for a late challenge. Sub Longman added the third in the 86th minute to complete a thoroughly miserable evening for Town.

Town made three changes from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with the MK Dons with Harrop, James Norwood and Alan Judge starting and Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell dropping to the bench and Armando Dobra from the 18.

The Blues may again start with a four-man backline with Harrop in central midfield ahead of Flynn Downes and Judge on the left and Gwion Edwards on the right. Norwood and Aaron Drinan were up front.

Myles Kenlock, Kane Vincent-Young, Cole Skuse, Tristan Nydam and Troy Parrott were not involved having played for the U23s this afternoon at Playford Road against Barnsley.

Former Blues youngster Shane McLoughlin was on the bench for the home side.

With a small group of Town fans watching from the roof of the new flats under construction behind one of the goals, the game was preceded by a two-minute silence for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the players - again with the exception of Toto Nsiala - taking a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

In the seventh minute, Ollie Palmer wasn’t far away from getting on the end of a long Nesta Guinness-Walker throw from the left which Tomas Holy gratefully grabbed hold of after Rudoni had seen a shot blocked.

Then at the other end Edwards crossed from the right and Drinan headed against a defender right in front of him.

In the 14th minute Downes broke forward and fed Drinan to his left and the Irishman hit a low shot which Dons keeper Nick Tzanev claimed down to his right.

On 20 Joe Pigott struck a shot from distance which Holy did well to push past the post but form the resultant corner, the home side took the lead. Luke O’Neil sent the ball over from the left and an untracked Nightingale powered a header past Holy. Town boss Paul Cook will have been less than impressed with his side’s defending.

Two minutes later, Tzanev made a mess of a clearance out wide on the left but Edwards’s effort at the empty goal was deflected wide by a sliding defender.

Palmer shot wide on 24 with Rudoni not far away from adding a final touch at the far post but the Dons didn’t have to wait too much longer for their second goal.
"A minute later, O’Neill crossed from the right and Rudoni nodded past Holy from the edge of the six-yard box.

Town’s dreadful start got even worse in the 28th minute when Harrop was shown a straight red card. The midfielder went in late Guinness-Walker, who flew into the air screaming. After taking his time and allowing the defender to be treated, referee Antony Coggins gave Harrop his marching orders, perhaps harshly and more down to the reaction than the tackle itself.

The Blues, who had gone 287 minutes without scoring a goal with 11 men, had given themselves a mountain to climb. They continued with two men up front and a narrow three-man midfield.

In the 34th minute Ayoub Assal burst past Woolfenden on the Wimbledon left before hitting a shot which skipper Luke Chambers blocked.

Four minutes later, Town created a chance to pull a goal back. Edwards picked up another poor Tzanev clearance, this time more centrally. The Welshman took the ball wide before crossing low but just in front of Norwood.

Wimbledon were close to making it 3-0 in the 41st minute when Assal hit a shot on the turn straight at Holy.

That was the last chance of what had been a nightmare half for the Blues in a game manager Cook said would define the season.

Even before the goals, Town had struggled with Wimbledon’s two big men up front, Palmer and Pigott, even before the goals with O’Neil’s crosses also having provided a threat every time they had been allowed to come in.

Both goals will frustrate Cook with the Blues’ defending having been the one positive about the team in his opening matches. As has become familiar, Town presented little threat at the other end even with their full complement.

Even with 11 men Town would appear big outsiders to turn the game around, with 10 it looks an impossibility.

Soon after the restart, Edwards got round the back of his full-back on the right and sent over a low cross which Tzanev claimed at a stretch.

Wimbledon had two goes at making it 3-0 in the 50th minute. Assal was played in in space on the right of the box but Holy blocked his effort. The loose ball eventually looped up to him but Nsiala headed his goal-bound effort off the line. In the 59th minute Judge was booked for a foul on Assal.

Edwards had caused Wimbledon a few problems with his pace down the right throughout the half and just before the hour, his low ball into the box was played back to Downes by Drinan but the midfielder was tackled by Nightingale as he took it into the box.

The Blues made a triple change in the 63rd minute with Dozzell, Freddie Sears and Keanan Bennetts taking over from Judge, Drinan and Edwards. For Wimbledon, Jaakko Oksanen came on for Assal and ex-Blue McLoughlin for Rudoni.

In the 69th minute Town swapped Stephen Ward, who had picked up a knock a few moments earlier, for Bishop, who went to the wide right role in what was now a 3-4-2 system with Bennetts on the left. Wimbledon withdrew Palmer for Ryan Longman.

Three minutes later, Pigott curled a shot just wide after the Blues had run into trouble in the centre circle.

On 74 Nightingale almost scored his second of the game, his powerful header from a corner cannoning against one of his own players when it looked on its way into the net.

Town should have pulled a goal back in the 78th minute when Woolfenden crossed deep for Norwood but the striker headed over, his finish in contrast to the Dons’ two goals in the first half. Two minutes later, Norwood was replaced by Kayden Jackson.

In the 86th minute Wimbledon made it 3-0. McLoughlin played it to Longman on the edge of the area and the sub struck a low shot past Holy to complete the Blues’ miserable first visit to the Dons’ new home.

A Town comeback was always hugely unlikely and despite one or two promising moments going forward, largely from Edwards, the Don’s victory never looked in any doubt. The Blues’ best chance was Norwood’s late header over.

The home side had a couple of chances to make it 3-0 prior to their late goal but overall the Dons had been happy enough with their 2-0 lead and saw no reason to overextend themselves with the damage done in the first half.

The Blues have now failed to score in seven of their last 14 and in any of their last three matches.

Manager Cook said beforehand that the match would define Town’s season and a disappointing 3-0 away defeat to opposition struggling in the lower reaches of the division is an accurate description of the Blues’ season. Indeed, it sums up their two campaigns in League One.

Town, who are at Charlton on Saturday, drop to ninth, now five points off the top six still showing no signs of getting anywhere near the form which will see them into the play-offs with only six games left to play.

AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, O'Neill, Woodyard (c), Nightingale, Palmer (Longman 70), Rudoni (McLoughlin 63), Assal (Oksanen 63), Guinness-Walker, Dobson, Kalambayi, Pigott. Unused: Cox, Csoka, Alexander, Osew.

Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Chambers (c), Edwards (Bennetts 63), Downes, Judge (Dozzell 63), Ward (Bishop 70), Harrop, Norwood (Jackson 80), Drinan (Sears 63). Unused: Cornell, McGuinness, Jackson. Referee: Antony Coggins (Bicester).

Photo: Reuters

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BromleyBloo added 20:34 - Apr 13
Can't be bothered to do a summary. In relative terms we played better in the second half with ten men while it was 2-1, but by then the game was long gone and apart from that it was just absolutely awful...................

Holy - okayish at best
Woolfy - poor
Chambers - average at best
Nsiala - bad
Ward - awful
Downes - good, but alone
Judge - tried, but poor
Edwards - huffing and puffing; poor in the first half, but did a few good things in the second before being subbed
Harrop - awful, send him back ASAP!
Drinan - poor, sadly not up to it
Norwood - battled, but alone and working on scraps; missed a good chance to get us back in the game with a header

Bennetts - awful, send him back ASAP!
Dozzell - nothing?
Bishop - nothing?
Jackson - pointless and invisible
Sears - past it

So who would you keep???

I don't get it - what did these players think they were playing for???

Absolutely abysmal - hang your heads!!!

rnblue63 added 20:34 - Apr 13
I really do wonder if those poor gullible pension fund investors back in the States have any idea what they are being asked to finance. Surely reality will kick in soon and they will come to appreciate that USA has a completely different meaning here at ITFC, where the abbreviation has a different, but far more appropriate connotation of Utterly Shambolic Amateurs.

cat added 20:35 - Apr 13
Wtf is going on. Where's the pride cause with the exception of Downes there weren't much of it evident. I'd give him the Captains band and see if he can lift the lads, Chambers looks beat before we start and reminds me of a toothless, snarling bulldog with no bite.
Thank god for the takeover, cause there's little else to be positive about.
Chin up P.C, next season you'll be judged not this one as you've inherited a very limited squad.

mg415 added 20:36 - Apr 13
keep downes and woolfenden otherwise get rid of the lot of them

multiplescoregasms added 20:36 - Apr 13
ha ha you have to laugh. What an awful squad of players we have. Doubtful we will finish top 10 now. What a joke.

TimmyH added 20:37 - Apr 13
Most anemic Town side I've seen in my 52 years...

My first dig at PC and hopefully last why play a 35 year old in Ward and a fish out of water Woolfenden as tucked in wingbacks in a 3-5-2 formation?, completely wrong personnel for this, Kenlock or others would have been better but they were playing in the U23'S!! you take some of the responsibility for that Mr Cook.

Utterly dreadful, soon as this season is over the better...

TrickyTaricco added 20:38 - Apr 13
FFS. I have supported ITFC through thick and thin for more than 50 years and I have never been embarrassed to admit it - until now. Toothless, spineless, gutless and clueless. We'll be lucky to finish in the top half, let alone the top six. Not one player, with the possible exception of KVY deserves to wear the shirt...

Mr_Jingles added 20:38 - Apr 13
On the plus side, the boys dig manage a shot on target for the first time in over 200 minutes of play... Think we need Paul Daniels if we want to get this bunch from Zero's to Hero's

dirtydingusmagee added 20:39 - Apr 13
worst players ever to play for Town, Hope PC drops them now ,they have had enough chances ,play the kids , the season is over .

blueinscotland added 20:39 - Apr 13
This game definitively highlights how far as a club we have fallen. I never imagined when PC took over that we would need a complete squad overhaul but it is clear that that is most definitely what we need.

Quite frankly embarrassing that with all the recent positivity around the club the players themselves have shown they have no desire to be here. Can't blame the manager as no professional would willingly play like that to get the manager sacked. I wouldn't be sad to lose 90% of this current crop of players.

billys_boots added 20:40 - Apr 13
Time to stop finding a promotion formula this season and time to start planning for next. Stick to Cook's desired system and see if anyone at all can play for him and be worth keeping.

timkatieadamitfc added 20:40 - Apr 13
We still have to give cook time, he has inherited a terrible squad, let him have a clear out and bring his own players in and judge him after 15-20 games. Anyone moaning should stop and think that we could have guardiola in charge but ..... the players are sh1t and it wouldn't matter, forget this season it's gone and not his fault, get behind him and the team next season COYB.

brendenward35 added 20:41 - Apr 13
Watched cook as the players came off. Totally ignored most of our players and did high 5s to a lot of there players. Says it all really players have again let him down. Starting to wonder if he wants to be here who can blame him guys been chucked in at the deep end just hope he can swim to safety. Going to be massive changes end of season I can't see him accepting that rubbish.

BangaloreBlues added 20:41 - Apr 13
Um.... Don't get stressed, they'll be gone next July.

I hd to write tht sentence without the first letter of the lphbet becuse my first letter of the lphbet button on my keybord hs seized up & doesnt work.

dirtydingusmagee added 20:41 - Apr 13
ALL THOSE PLAYERS should be told tonight their time is up.

Wooly74 added 20:41 - Apr 13
I'd sell Downes, keep Norwood and Woolfy and get rod of the rest.

The Dutch sides almost start from a blank start with regards to squads most seasons and still put together very good units to compete, personally I think we should start again. We have very little in quality and those that are at the club and now top used to losing. Seriously bin the lot of them and start again, if there is a single Town fan that disagrees after watching this lack lustre bunch of over paid players then let's hear from you please tonight.

Too many just picking up their pay cheques week in and week out, no passion, no belief, no hope and this comes from a very loyal Town fan of 47 years. Even my vets Sunday league side in the Suffolk Premier League could give this lot a game, we would create as many chances that's for sure.

Embarrassing doesn't even come close, it's one thing to draw against the bottom side away, but to lose 3-0 in a game that the manager clearly stated was so make or break. Shocking!


tobymeadz91 added 20:42 - Apr 13
Tonight was the final £10 of this season... absolutely disgraceful.....

Further to Paul Cooks previous comments I hope the players do read our comments... fingers crossed bar one or two the rest are released.... 15 years of negative dross.....

My god do the new owners have a task on their hands, hopefully they didn't watch tonight's game!!

Final comment, my knowledge on Paul Cook is limited however since taken over he hasn't shown a flicker or flare or attacking football just said the players aren't good enough... I'm happy to be proven wrong but very sceptical at present .....

The annoying thing is come Saturday I will probably watch them again... can't not!!

Skip73 added 20:42 - Apr 13
Useless, pathetic, inept, clueless. Just leave, the lot of you!!

tractorboykent added 20:42 - Apr 13
Abject, gutless, woeful. A group of players literally yelling at the mgr WE DON'T WANT TO BE HERE; WE DON'T CARE. Credit to the opposition though - like other 'small' clubs inc Crewe and MK Dons - AFC showed us what can be done with organisation, commitment and a bit of bravery. Our lot don't know the meaning of the words.

itfc1974 added 20:43 - Apr 13
Interesting that Cook fist pumped all the Wimbledon players leaving the pitch and ignored all the Ipswich players. Drop the whole 1st team for the next game and play the youth game.

CheffyCooky added 20:43 - Apr 13
Absolutely disgusting to think of the wages that these ‘professional players' are picking up on a weekly basis.
The majority of this squad aren't fit to wear the shirt, absolutely gutless and shameful, tos@ers

Skip73 added 20:43 - Apr 13
Also, that wishy washy kit really suits the wishy washy players.

Woodbridgian added 20:44 - Apr 13
Complete and absolute shambles. The players should personally refund anyone who paid for I-follow! Season over!
Massive clear out needed in summer

Drifter3012 added 20:44 - Apr 13
Definitely the worst season for decades with a squad who obviously don't care.
I am concerned about Cook's choices but will reserve final judgement until he has built his own team.
If thus is where we are in November then my concerns will be warranted.
I simply think the players have given up and know they are going nowhere in the summer but that makes me wonder why Cook is playing them.
Trying to stay positive but losing the will now.

itfchorry added 20:45 - Apr 13
Hang your heads in shame - you are embarrassing
this Proud Club -

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