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Tuesday 12th August – AFC Wimbledon 2 – 1 Thurrock
Two goals in the last five minutes gave Blue Square South newcomers AFC Wimbledon the points in this exciting game at Kingsmeadow.
Thurrock took the lead in the 15th minute as Fola Orilonishe’s corner was headed across goal by Rob Swaine, Phil Anderson tapped in on the line.
However, the home side then laid siege on the Fleet goal and for most of the remainder of the game it was backs to the wall.
Firstly Antony Finn’s pass split the Thurrock defence open, and Michael Haswell’s shot was well saved by Andrew Young.
Tom Davis came close moments later but his effort drilled across goal and wide.
Wimbledon had a penalty appeal turned down on the brink of half time as Finn’s shot was magnificently blocked by Kenny Clark. The ball rebounded to Haswell who hit the ground after Matt Paine’s sublime challenge, much to the dismay of the home fans but the referee rightly waved play on.
Wimbledon opened the second half in similar fashion with Finn continuing to threaten Young’s goal.
On the hour mark, the home fans had another penalty appeal turned down as Paine once again eliminated the threat, this time with a great tackle which prevented Jon Main the opportunity of an equaliser.
Moments later, Kennedy Adjel jinked through the midfield but his shot was once again blocked by Clark and cleared by Swaine.
For 85 minutes it looked like the Fleet back four, – who along with goalkeeper Young and midfielder “Max” Lettejallow were outstanding – would shut out the home side, but just as at home to Eastleigh on Saturday, late goals broke Thurrock’s hearts.
Firstly, an 86th minute defensive error allowed Elliot Godfrey to equalise from close range.
Then at the death, substitute Chris Hussey got in behind loanee Rhys Henry. His cross was laid wide by Main, and Luke Garrard smashed his shot in at the near post to send the 2,786 home fans into raptures.
Although statistically it would seem that Wimbledon deserved the points, Thurrock matched the home side across the park and will feel aggrieved to have once again conceded late goals which has cost them the points.
Next up, away to Team Bath who boast ten goals in two games in their debut season at this level.