Marathon men are ready for the ordeal
NEIL ARDLEY was relieved to see his AFC Wimbledon side hold on for a point as they headed into a period of nine games in 35 days.
Jake Reeves gave them the lead on 13 minutes when he converted a close-range effort from a well-worked corner kick routine, as they dominated the opening half.
But they failed to create further clear chances and were punished when Morecambe equalised through Padraig Amond’s header just before halftime.
“A draw was a fair result,” said Ardley.“We had the better of the first half, but I thought we over-played at times.We missed several really good opportunities to get crosses into the box.
“Morecambe’s goal knocked the stuffing out of us and they were the better side in the second half.We struggled with our transition from defence to attack.”
Just a point separated the sides going into the game, but it was Wimbledon who displayed far greater quality on the ball in a dominant opening.
Several slick passing moves came to no avail until a more direct approach, courtesy of Francomb’s out-swinging corner on 13 minutes, found Adebayo Akinfenwa. He laid the ball perfectly into Reeves’ path to fire home.
Morecambe were bereft of ideas in possession, often resorting to lumping the ball aimless- ly down the channels, but somehow found themselves back in the game just before half-time.
A wonderful Laurence Wilson cross from the left found Amond and he glanced home their only chance of the half.
The goal gave Jim Bentley’s side momentum, but clear opportunities remained at a premium.
On 46 minutes, Jack Redshaw swivelled and fired a left-foot shot just wide of the post from 18 yards, in what was the Shrimps’ best chance of the second half.
Wimbledon defender Deji Oshilaja headed over from another Francomb corner on 80 minutes, while substitute Paul Mullin tested James Shea with an injurytime strike from the edge of the box. The result makes it five straight draws for Morecambe, with manager Bentley frustrated at a lack of cutting edge.
He said:“I thought their goal was a well-worked corner routine and you have to praise them for that.We lacked confidence after their goal, but we scored just before the break and that changed the game for us.
“Andrea (Arestidou) hasn’t made a save in the second half and we just needed that little bit of luck.We were hoping for a late goal to burst the net but it deserted us, which it has for a number of weeks.”
STAR MAN JAKE REEVES AFC Wimbl