Match Report: AFC Wimbledon 3-3 Rochdale
Tuesday, 27th Apr 2021 21:44 by Chaff
Dale fans were left broken hearted after a 3-3 draw with a 97th minute equaliser meaning we need a miracle to stay in League One.
They don’t come much bigger than this for Dale, do they? Failure to win leaves Rochdale needing a miracle to retain their League One status whereas a win would give us the hope that we can produce another great escape despite still relying on results in the Wigan and Wimbledon games. Failure to win tonight would all but seal our relegation.
Worked had prevented me from feeling nervous but as soon as I logged off from work and onto the football, it hit me, despite having been resigned to relegation since before a ball was kicked this season.
We couldn’t do it, could we?
Team news came through and the first bit that jumped out was no McShane. We are infinitely better when he plays, and he wasn’t available. Jim McNulty came in to replace him. There were also starts for Shaughnessy and Done who came in for Morley and Dooley who dropped to the bench.
Dale lined up in the mint green away kit as Wimbledon got the game underway at the New Plough Lane.
Fair to say Dale started of looking incredibly nervous. Jim McNulty with a ridiculous pass pack to Lynch which nearly ended up as an own goal and hit the side netting.
The Dons had the first real chance of the game when a good corner was swung in and Nightingale glanced his header wide. Something that would be a real feature of the first half.
Wimbledon continued to push forward, and Guiness-Walker dragged a shot wide of the post.
Dale registered their first attempt but missed the target when Osho headed wide from a Matty Done free kick.
With just over 20 minutes gone, Wimbledon had another good chance, this time through Assal who headed over from a fantastic ball from Pigott.
Just a couple of minutes later and the home side headed over again!! This time it was Henegan who headed over from another good corner. It felt like it was coming!
A real let off for Dale after Beesley clearly handled inside the box blocking a cross. His arm was outstretched and there’s no doubt at all it would have been given with VAR. Luckily, we don’t have that!
With just over half an hour gone, Wimbledon headed over yet again with Pigott this time guilty of missing the target.
A rare Dale attack saw some good work from Conor Grant and Matty Done before Grant laid off to Keohane who looked to curl one into the far corner like we’ve seen a couple of times recently, but his effort was wide of the far post. Much better that.
Dale were seemingly getting back into the game and getting more of the ball in the final third of the pitch. O’Connell hitting a shot that was deflected wide for a corner on 39 minutes.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! Get the **** in there!!! The corner is taken by Grant and it’s awful, really awful, but Wimbledon don’t defend it and it trickles through to Jake Beesley who tucks away his 7th goal of the season to make it 1-0 to Rochdale in this huge game at the bottom of the table.
We couldn’t do this, could we?
With half time approaching, Beesley looked like he was brought down in the box, but the referee waved play on.
Dale went in at the break 1-0 up!
What would the second half hold?
Well Wimbledon went close just two minutes into the half when a cross from O’Neill looped over Lynch and came back off the crossbar!
Shaughnessy had a volley, but his effort flew high and wide into the stand on 49 minutes as Dale looked to try and extend their lead.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!! Come on Dale!!! OSHO! Finally, a long throw worked. Shaughnessy’s long throw is met by Osho who glances a header into the far corner to double Dale’s lead!
Come on Dale! Do not **** this up!
The lead lasted just three minutes as a wonderful cross from Assal was headed home by Rudoni who was left with a free header to make it 2-1 on the hour mark!
Wimbledon were getting back into the game and pushing for an equaliser. Pigott had another header at goal, straight at Lynch though thankfully for Dale but Wimbledon weren’t gonna be denied much longer!
And there it is, the equaliser. A ball came in from the right, Lynch collided with O’Connell causing Lynch to spill the ball straight to Palmer who bundled the ball home to make it 2-2. Watching Rochdale is torture.
Dale pushed again to try and regain the lead and Beesley’s header was brilliantly saved and tipped over after a wonderful cross from McLaughlin.
The resulting corner saw Beesley go close again which led to another corner!
JIMMMYYYYYYYYYY!!! Swiss Army Jimmy does it again!!!!!! Another good corner from Done was flicked on and found Keohane at the back post who headed home his 9th goal of the season to make it 3-2 to Rochdale!!
Surely, we can’t let this slip again!!
WHAT A SAVE! Jay Lynch pulls off a brilliant save to deny Longman!
Done and Grant were brought off and Humphrys and Lund were on.
With just 5 minutes of normal time left, AFC Wimbledon were awarded a penalty. McNulty and Lynch were both involved, and I think it was McNulty who put in the challenge to bring down the Wimbledon man. Pigott stepped up but Lynch saves the penalty!! How the hell do we cope watching this!?
The fourth official held up 6 minutes of stoppage time.
Longest 6 minutes since Joey T day this. This is horrible.
WHAT A TACKLE! Beesley saved a certain goal with an unbelievable last-ditch tackle!
And then disaster.
It’s the hope that kills you they say.
With the full 96 minutes having been and gone, Dale hearts were smashed into pieces. A ball came into the box, nobody deals with it and Pigott turned and brilliantly finished past Lynch into the far post to make it 3-3 in the 97th minute.
The whistle went.
Silence in our house.
Dale are left 4 points behind Wigan and 6 behind Wimbledon with just two games left.
Jay Lynch – 7 (A real mixed night, poor for their second but saved a penalty and pulled off a brilliant save before that)
Ryan McLaughlin – 6 (Got forward when he could but didn’t get much luck)
Gabriel Osho – 7 (Got his first goal and another solid performance)
Eoghan O’Connell – 6 (Nervy start at the back)
Jim McNulty – 5 (We really miss McShane)
Jimmy Keohane – 7 (Another goal and a hard-working performance)
Conor Shaughnessy – 7 (Much better from Shaughnessy)
Ollie Rathbone – 7 (Nervy start but a real hard-working performance and linked up play well)
Conor Grant – 7 (Our best player first half but drifted second half)
Matty Done – 6 (Grafted as always but without much luck)
JAKE BEESLEY– 8 (MOTM – Thought he was fantastic, worked his bollocks off, scored again and stopped a certain goal)
Matt Lund – 6 (Came on and did ok)
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
[ Vote here ]