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REPORT | AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Red Dragons forced to settle for a point on the road

12 August 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Red Dragons forced to settle for a point on the road

12 August 2023

Wrexham AFC were forced to settle for a point in their first away league match of the 2023/24 season, after Elliot Lee's goal was cancelled out by a second-half penalty from James Tilley.

Wimbledon got the game started at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, starting the stronger of the two sides with Ben Tozer and Will Boyle kept busy during the opening exchanges.

Despite that, the Red Dragons went on to break the deadlock in London in the 22nd minute.

A lofted ball from Tozer found Mendy, who eventually burst straight past his opposite number, and managed to find Elliot Lee in the Wimbledon box with a smart cut-back.

Lee made no mistake from a golden opportunity, firing an effort across goal which lifted over the Dons’ keeper (after a slight deflection), eventually finding the back of the net which was met by pure elation from the Wrexham supporters.

Tom O’Connor was next to test opposing ‘keeper Alex Bass, as Wrexham continued in their pursuit of a second goal and control of the match in the 26th minute.

Ryan Barnett lifted an expertly weighted cross towards O’Connor, who was first to the ball and directed a powerful header towards the Dons’ goal, which forced Bass into a good save to tip the ball over the bar.

Wimbledon continued to challenge Phil Parkinson’s side, and Mendy – less than ten minutes after providing the assist – provided a brave block to deny Ryan Johnson’s strike at point-blank range from 12-yards-out.

Summer signing James McClean played his first match in a Wrexham shirt since joining the club earlier this month and he came close to registering his first goal just before the break.

Mendy continued to cause problems down the left-flank for the hosts and got the better of his opposite number yet again, finding the Republic of Ireland international in the box.

McClean rose highest to head the ball towards goal, but his effort lacked conviction and was dealt with by Alex Bass, keeping the Red Dragons’ advantage to a single goal.

Jonnie Jackson’s side reminded the visitors of their counter-attacking threat, as James Tilley found himself through on goal with a minute remaining in the half, but his touch let him down, spurning a huge chance for the hosts.

Wimbledon came out in the second half fired up and ready to battle for an all-important equaliser to level the scores in SW17.

Omar Buigel had the hosts’ first chance of the second period, but the forward lifted his right-footed effort over Ben Foster’s goal with 50 minutes played.

The hosts’ number 18 yet again tested Phil Parkinson’s side, but his looping header ended up wide of Wrexham’s goal, with Wimbledon’s efforts yet to amount to an equaliser.

Jackson’s side were handed a golden opportunity to level the scores in the 65th minute after a collision in the box resulted in Darren Drysdale pointing to the spot for a Dons’ penalty.

Ali Al-Hamadi stepped up to take the spot-kick, firing his effort low towards the bottom-left corner from 12-yards-out.

It didn’t matter though, as Wrexham ‘keeper Ben Foster got down quickly with yet another important penalty save, pushing away Al-Hamadi’s attempt to deny to the hosts and retain Wrexham’s lead.

Lee went close to doubling Wrexham’s lead, having won a free kick from a dangerous area after being hacked down in the 76th minute on the edge of the Dons’ box.

The 28-year-old stepped up to take the resulting set-piece, with his right-footed curling attempt pushed away at the last minute from Bass.

Wimbledon levelled the scores at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, being handed yet another penalty. Drysdale pointed to the spot for the second time - deeming that Eoghan O’Connell had fouled Dons’ substitute Harry Pell.

Tilley stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Foster couldn’t produce another heroic effort as the hosts’ number seven fired past the Wrexham ‘keeper in the 77th minute.

Phil Parkinson’s men continued to push in their attempts to regain their lead, with eight minutes of stoppage time signalled.

Lee, Luke Young and Sam Dalby all went close for Wrexham in the closing minutes of added time, but despite the Red Dragons’ unquestionable desire and commitment, they were forced to settle for a point on their travels.

Wrexham AFC line-up: Foster (GK), O’Connell, Tozer (C), Boyle, Barnett (Forde 83’), O’Connor, Cannon (Young 83’), McClean, Mendy (J.Davies 89’), Lee, Palmer (Dalby 83’).

Subs not used: Howard (GK), Cleworth, Bickerstaff.

Attendance: 8,584 (1200 away).

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