Ipswich Town 2-2 AFC Wimbledon - Match Report
Saturday, 28th Aug 2021 17:02
Town are still waiting for their first win of the season after AFC Wimbledon scored deep in injury time to come from two goals behind to claim a 2-2 draw at Portman Road. Joe Pigott, who joined Town after leaving the Dons in the summer, put the Blues in front from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute after Wes Burns had been fouled, then Burns made it 2-0 two minutes later, before Ben Heneghan pulled one back for the visitors on 58. Town looked on their way to their first win of the campaign until Jack Rudoni scored a second for the Dons five minutes into injury time.
Pigott returned to the Blues’ XI against his old club with Macauley Bonne missing from the squad having picked up a knock.
Town were otherwise unchanged from last week’s 2-2 home draw with MK Dons, while Sone Aluko was among the subs in the league for the first time having returned from injury.
There was no place for Armando Dobra on the bench with the Albanian U21 international looking set to go out on loan earlier this week with Colchester showing strong interest.
Heavy rain before kick-off had subsided prior to the players from both teams taking a knee mainly to applause but also muted some boos.
Town began the game on the front foot and in the fourth minute Scott Fraser shot at goal from just outside the area but without overly testing Wombles number one Nik Tzanev.
Wimbledon started to come into the game more as the quarter-hour approached with the Blues clearing somewhat aimlessly on occasion and on others were caught in possession trying to overplay out from the back.
On 16 Dons skipper Alex Woodyard was booked for a foul on Pigott, who had been booed by his old fans from his first touch.
Town quickly regained full control with dangerous low crosses from the right from Kane Vincent-Young and Burns both failing to find team-mate in the box, while Rekeem Harper shot into keeper Tzanev’s midriff from distance.
In the 22nd minute, Vincent-Young tricked his way past a couple of Wimbledon defenders on the right of the box before teeing-up Pigott, whose shot pole-axed Dons striker Ollie Palmer, who required attention before continuing.
Two minutes later, Coulson did well to dispossess Palmer as the striker worked his way into the area with the Blues not for the first time looking troubled when run at by Wimbledon attackers.
Town continued to dominate but with the Dons presenting a threat on the counter. On 31 Henry Lawrence crossed from the right and Aaron Pressley diverted it well over when under pressure from Cameron Burgess. It looked a very decent opportunity.
Four minutes later, Palmer headed an Anthony Hartigan corner from the left against Blues skipper Lee Evans and on to the roof of Vaclav Hladky’s net.
From a subsequent Wimbledon flag-kick, the Blues broke quickly. Pigott sent Burns away down the right, the Welshman cut inside to Fraser, who turned it on to Harper, whose shot from the edge of the box deflected over off a defender.
Town continued to dominate but without being able to create a really clear-cut opportunity. On 42 Kyle Edwards, who had had another lively half down the left, shot towards goal from a central area not far outside the area but Tzanev was able to claim down to his right.
Moments before the fourth official indicated an additional one minute, Hartigan became the second Dons player to be shown a yellow card after pulling back Edwards.
Just before referee David Rock ended an entertaining half, Evans shot high and wide from 40 yards after latching on to a Tzanev clearance with the keeper well out of his goal.
The Blues had been on top for the vast majority of the half playing some good stuff at times, but without creating much in the way of clear-cut opportunities.
At the other end, Town hadn’t always looked comfortable with Wimbledon a threat on the break, indeed Pressley’s chance was probably the best of the half.
Hayden Coulson, who had enjoyed an impressive first 45 minutes, struck Town’s first effort of the second period, cutting inside before hitting a right-foot effort which flew well wide.
The early minutes of the second half followed the same pattern as the first and in the 52nd minute the Blues were awarded a penalty.
Burns was fed in on the right of the box and touched it beyond Will Nightingale, who pulled him back. Referee Rock pointed straight to the spot and booked Nightingale.
Former Dons striker Pigott stepped up and calmly stroked the ball to Tzanev’s left as the keeper dived to his right for his second goal in a Town shirt.
Two minutes later, the Blues were two in front. Again the ball was played in front of Burns on the right of the box by Vincent-Young and this time the Welshman smashed a shot across Tzanev and into the corner of the net for his first goal for Town.
However, the two-goal lead last only four minutes. Edwards fouled Lawrence to the right of the box, Hartigan sent the free-kick into the area, it flicked off Pigott’s head and Heneghan nodded across Hladky and into the corner of the net.
Heneghan wasn’t too far away from a second in the 63rd minute when allowed a free header from a corner from the right but this time his effort was straight against Pigott.
Wimbledon, who had swapped Pressley for Mebude just after the hour mark, made a double change on 70 with Rudoni and Nesta Guinness-Walker replacing Luke McCormick and Cheye Alexander.
Town started to look more in control and more threatening, but on 74 their defensive frailties were in evidence again when Palmer was allowed to bring an overhit Rudoni cross from the right in from the other flank before hitting a shot which Hladky palmed behind for a corner.
The Blues’ second goalscorer Burns was forced off in the 77th minute having taken a knock. Janoi Donacien, who made a quick dash down the tunnel, presumably to get his shirt, came on in his place a minute later with Vincent-Young then swapped for Aluko, who was making his Town league debut.
Two minutes later, Hladky was booked for stealing five or so yards as he prepared to take a free-kick.
Town continued to have jittery moments at the back as the Dons pushed for an equaliser, while the home crowd got behind their team.
On 87 Coulson was warmly applauded off after a very impressive performance at left-back with Matt Penney taking over.
Two minutes later, Harper was teed-up on the edge of the box following a Town break but slipped as he shot and the ball flew well over.
Town had only a minute of additional time to see out when the Wombles levelled. From a corner on the right, Heneghan’s header was saved by Hladky, but the Czech keeper couldn’t hold on and Rudoni slammed into the net from close range.
There was no time left for the Blues to hit back and for the third home league match out of three this season Town had to be content with a 2-2 draw. At the whistles boos briefly rang out, as they had done after last week’s game against MK Dons had ended in the same scoreline.
Once again, the game was all but won with the Blues’ defensive vulnerabilities again losing them two points.
The Blues are now 21st with a trip to Wycombe, who were beaten 3-1 at Sunderland today, scheduled for next week but potentially set to be postponed due to international calls for the Chairboys.
Town: Hladky, Vincent-Young (Aluko 78), Woolfenden, Burgess, Coulson (Penney 87), Harper, Evans (c), Burns (Donacien 78), Fraser, Edwards, Pigott. Unused: Holy, Carroll, Barry, Jackson.
AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Lawrence, Woodyard (c), Nightingale, Alexander (Guinness-Walker 70), Hartigan, Palmer, Assal, Pressley (Mebude 61), McCormick (Rudoni 70), Heneghan. Unused: Oualah, Marsh, Chislett, Kalambayi. Referee: David Rock (Hertfordshire). Att: 19,051 (AFC Wimbledon: 611).
Photo: Matchday Images
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