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03 November 2020 Venue Plough Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | AFC Wimbledon vs Rovers

3 November 2020

Rovers are on the road again on Tuesday as they travel to face AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One.

Darren Moore’s side got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Lincoln City at the Keepmoat Stadium.  

 

Wimbledon’s recent form 

After a solid enough start to the season, Wimbledon have struggled to find consistency in their league form since the start of October. They began last month with a 2-1 defeat at home to Accrington Stanley, but followed that up with a brilliant 1-0 victory at Swindon in Sky Bet League One.  

They then suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Shrewsbury Town and Hull City, before picking up a point away at Burton Albion. The Dons are now unbeaten in three games, after backing that up with a win over Blackpool and a share of the spoils against rivals MK Dons. 

 

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 43 Wimbledon fixtures, winning 14, drawing 14 and losing 15, giving him an overall win percentage of 32.6%. 

 

Ones to watch 

Steve Seddon 

The 22-year-old left-back joined Wimbledon in the summer for a second loan spell with the club. Seddon is on loan from Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City, where he came through the youth system and has gone on to make a couple of appearances for the blues.  

As well as Wimbledon, Seddon has also spent time out on loan with Stevenage and Portsmouth.  

 

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 in the 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. 

 

Last time out 

Rovers were beaten 2-1 when the two sides last met in Sky Bet League One in December 2019. Kwame Thomas had given Rovers a half-time lead, before goals from Marcus Forss and Callum Reilly turned the game on its head. 

 

Watch pre-match interviews

 

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Match Reports

REPORT | AFC Wimbledon 2 Rovers 2

3 November 2020

James Coppinger’s injury time goal means Rovers take a point from Plough Lane.

A Joe Piggot brace had looked set to create a happy homecoming for AFC Wimbledon but Coppinger’s late equaliser meant the teams shared the points.  

It was a match in which Rovers dominated in all areas and would have been surprised to find themselves after enjoying the best of the opening stages. Matt Smith’s equaliser seemed to kick Rovers up a gear. Chances came and went for Rovers, but they failed to capitalise of their possession and pressure and were made to pay when Piggot scored his second with less than ten minutes remaining. 

It had looked like Darren Moore’s men would be left with nothing  to show for their efforts but Coppinger was in the right place at the right time to snatch a point. 

Darren Moore named an unchanged side after Rovers’ impressive win against Lincoln City four days previously. With Reece James reprising his role in the centre of the park and Joe Wright at right back. 

Rovers had the better start at The Dons’ new ground – a ground so new that parts of it were still being built – with Ben Whiteman being allowed to pull the strings in the centre of the park. It was the skipper’s pass into Fejiri Okenabirhie that gave the striker his first opportunity of the evening though he was well martialled by The Dons centre-backs.  

It was Whiteman who registered the first shot of the evening, a curling left-footed effort which didn’t curl enough to trouble keeper Connal Trueman. 

Moore’s men were forced to be patient as Dons seemed to concede possession and pick up any attempted through-balls. It was a tactic that seemed to be working as passed by Whiteman, Reece James and Matt Smith were picked off as they tried to find the runs of the front three. 

Despite dominating the early possession, Wimbledon proved how dangerous they could be and punished Rovers with their first real attack of the game. Steve Seddon’s cross was an awkward one for Josef Bursik – he got something to it but the ball fell kindly for Joe Pigott. The host’s no.9 had the whole goal to aim at and duly slotted away. 

The lead didn’t last long, however, and Rovers got one back through Smith. The Welshman did really well in the build up showing real tenacity to win the ball back and play it to Whiteman. Whiteman’s ball out to Jon Taylor who found Smith with his cross. Smith attempted to cross the ball but it ricocheted back to him and he slotted away calmly. 

Taylor had a chance to give Rovers the lead minutes later. Whiteman was involved again dropping the ball neatly over the defender and into the no.11’s path. Wimbledon’s defence did really well to get back and block the shot. And Smith could have had a penalty when he was bundled over after being found in the penalty box by a neat pass from Okenabirhie. 

Rovers still had plenty of defending to do but they answered all of Wimbledon’s questions with the host’s best chance coming as Rovers played themselves into trouble. A loose pass by Bursik was pounced on by Ryan Longman but some shrewd defending from Reece James saw him race back and disposes the forward with ease.  

Josh Sims had the final chance of the half. Tireless running by Danny Amos meant the left back was able to stab the ball out to the Southampton loanee. Sims cut inside well and curled the ball towards the far post as Rovers fans will have seen him do plenty of times since arriving at the club, but Trueman did well to get down to his left and punch the ball clear. 

Moore made his first change at the break. With Brad Halliday coming on to replace Wright – the latter was already on a booking. With little change in the came he made his second substitution just over ten minutes into the second half with James Coppinger replacing Danny Amos. The no.26 first touch was a pass to Whiteman who scooped his shot narrowly over the bar. 

Rovers began to dominate possession and push forward until Wimbledon were camped in their own half. Chances came and went for Okenabirhie, and Cameron John without either doing enough to trouble keeper Trueman, while an effort from Halliday required a save after it took a wicked deflection making it tricky for the keeper. 

Whiteman continued to cause the home side problems – he appeared to be alone in the box as he ran to meet Taylor’s cross but his header was straight at Trueman.  

It was Sims who had Rovers best chance to get a winner. He jinked away from trailing leg of Will Nightingale and shot towards the near post. Connal Trueman, who had a really good night between the sticks, got down well to make the save. 

Pigott looked set to make himself the homecoming hero with less than ten minutes on the clock. He was first to react to a cross into the Rovers box and fired home to earn a win for Wimbledon but Coppinger had other ideas and his shot looped over Trueman meaning Rovers took a point from the capital. 

 

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