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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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26 January 2021 Venue The Keepmoat Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Rovers vs AFC Wimbledon

26 January 2021

Rovers are looking to make it three straight league wins when they take on AFC Wimbledon at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday night.

Darren Moore’s side have already beaten Swindon Town and Rochdale in Sky Bet League One since the turn of the year. 

Wimbledon’s recent form 

The Dons haven’t won any of their past six league games, stretching back to a home defeat to Crewe Alexandra on December 19. After that, they were beaten 2-0 at Oxford United on Boxing Day, before a 2-1 defeat against Lincoln City at Plough Lane in their first game of 2021. 

They have continued to find results hard to come by in recent weeks, with a 3-0 loss against Sunderland followed up by a heavy 4-0 defeat on the road at promotion chasing Portsmouth. They earned a point in their last league outing, battling to a 1-1 draw at home to Crewe. 

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26 January 2021

The man in charge 

Glyn Hodges took charge of Wimbledon initially on a temporary basis in September 2019 and guided them to safety last season. Since becoming the manager, Hodges has overseen 60 games, winning 18, drawing 18 and losing 24, giving him an overall win percentage of 30%.

 

Ones to watch 

Will Nightingale 

The 25-year-old has been with Wimbledon since the age of eight and has progressed through the ranks to become an integral part of the starting XI.  

After making his debut in January 2015, Nightingale won the club’s young player of the year award in the 2016/17 campaign. He was handed the captain’s armband in March 2019 and has retained it ever since – playing a key part in the club retaining their position in Sky Bet League One. 


Alex Woodyard 
 

After coming through the system at Southend United, Woodyard spent a few years in non-league before helping Lincoln City back to the EFL in the 2016/17 campaign. After impressing during his time at Sincil Bank, the central midfielder signed for Peterborough United in 2018. He played more than 50 times for Posh but was allowed to leave the club on loan last season, joining Tranmere Rovers in January. He signed for Wimbledon on a permanent deal last summer.  


Joe Pigott 
 

The 26-year-old target man began his career with Charlton Athletic before spending time out loan at a number of clubs, including Gillingham, Newport County and Southend United. He signed permanently for Cambridge United in 2016, before departing for non-league side Maidstone United a year later after a successful loan spell.  

He averaged almost a goal every other game there before being snapped up by Wimbledon, where he has gone onto become a focal point in attack. He already has 13 goals to his name in all competitions so far this season. 

 

Last time out 

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw when they last met back in November, in the first game back at the new Plough Lane. Joe Pigott put the home side in front before Matt Smith levelled the scores with his first goal for Rovers. Pigott scored his second with nine minutes to go and looked to have secured all three points, before James Coppinger’s 91st minute leveller secured a point for Darren Moore’s side.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Wimbledon 0

26 January 2021

Goals from Fejiri Okenabirhie and Taylor Richards made it seven wins from eight league games against AFC Wimbledon.

Elliot Simoes and Taylor Richards returned to the starting XI at the expense of Joe Wright and Jason Lokilo with the former being named on the bench.  

Rovers got off to a promising start with attacks mainly coming down the left through Cameron John. On the fifth minute the left backs ball was intercepted by Will Nightingale and two minutes later he played a ball into Simoes whose resulting shot on goal was blocked.   

That attacking pressure paid off, as on the tenth minute Darren Moore’s side sauntered into the lead after a fine strike from outside the box by Okenabirhie got the better of Sam Walker.  

From this point onwards Rovers were in control of the game and looked assured of themselves that they were not going to concede.  

Rovers were feeling confident which was reflected through their shots on goal. The first of three ambitious attempts came via Reece James from around 30-yards before Matt Smith would hit the woodwork from a similar distance. The third attempt found its way in as Taylor Richards’ attempt on goal from outside the box took a slight deflection off Darnell Johnson to beat Walker and put Moore’s side 2-0 in front.  

Heading in at half-time Moore would have been delighted with what he saw from his team who was in full control of the game. 

In an attempt to shake things up Wimbledon made a change at the start of the second-half with George Dobson replacing Callum Reilly. Initially the change seemed to work with the visitors seeing more of the ball and the Dons’ biggest chance came from Dobson who left the woodwork rattling after a stinging shot from close range.  

A new free kick routine for Rovers saw the unlikely Brad Halliday charge up and strike on goal from 25-yards out, but his low effort was wide of the target.  

On the 65th minute Moore made his first substitution of the evening with Jon Taylor coming off to make way for Ed Williams.  

Rovers began to grow back into the game with Richards forcing a save out of Walker as he searched for his second of the game. The visitors’ keeper was later forced to punch away a shot from Halliday.  

Brighton loanee Richards was substituted with 10 minutes to go. AJ Greaves was the man who replaced him after impressing in his cameos this season.  

Despite Wimbledon’s fighting spirit Rovers saw the game out in an impressive and professional manner and they came away with the three points – taking their tally up to 42 having played 21 games this term.  

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