There are many reasons to like AFC Wimbledon as a club, but there plenty to dislike it as an away day; chiefly you can’t see a bloody thing from the away terrace, and not since Kingstonian were primary tenants have Rovers really performed at Kingsmeadow.
The first half offered little of note; the swirling wind ruining any attempts at considered football. Mallik Wilks wasted a break with a poor cross; a Dons defender nodded onto his own crossbar, their winger hit the side-netting at the right end. That was it.
Grant McCann shuffled the pack at half-time – Ali Crawford on for Aaron Lewis – and things looked encouraging as Ben Whiteman’s well-struck half volley was tipped over the bar. But a second or two later John Marquis received a second yellow card and Rovers’ afternoon duly tumbled down a hill.
The Dons did a number on John Marquis, taking advantage of his confrontational style to engineer two bookings that couldn’t have been softer had they been made of marshmallow. The first for a shove on a free-kick delaying Scott Wagstaff, the second for apparently blocking off Aaron Ramsdale who’d chosen to run through rather than round Marquis.
Wimbledon took the lead – taking advantage of a rare Paul Downing mistake – with 25 minutes left and to be frank, a comeback never looked likely. A well struck James Coppinger volley was as close as Rovers came before Wimbledon wrapped things up in injury time; Shane McLoughlin finishing a quick break.
by Glen Wilson