This was the type of fixture that would normally carry expectation of an easy win and a goal glut; AFC Wimbledon with three wins in 17. Unfortunately our form of the last month has been no more impressive.
Wimbledon’s game plan was clear within five minutes, hit Herbie Kane hard to stop Rovers playing. However, they clearly under-estimated his resolve, unlike Mallik Wilks who limped off. As two nervous teams struggled for rhythm there was little too excite early on, until the overly polite Tom Anderson allowed an easy route to goal for the visitors’ opener.
The one shining light for Rovers in the first half was Ali Crawford, demanding the ball in all areas of pitch, taking responsibility, and on 35 minutes he curled a sublime shot into the top corner. Game on.
The second half Rovers had the better of the play, but struggled to create clear chances, and with Kane still a target for heavy challenges; some people just can’t take a nutmeg graciously.
But on the 74th minute Rovers season may have restarted. Tommy Rowe returned from injury, and twelve minutes later drilled a shot across the keeper for 2-1.
It’s a home victory that’s been long-awaited; one which hopefully can start some momentum, but Rovers still look prone to concede, and made hard work of beating a team who look like relegation candidates. Perhaps getting Kane, Crawford and Rowe on the pitch at the same time could be the key to an upturn in form.