The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Sam El­liott

AFC WIM­BLE­DON were left curs­ing the hands of a goal­keeper they ditched af­ter get­ting stuck in traf­fic as they couldn’t get out of sec­ond gear at non-league Sut­ton United.

The Dons live to fight an­other day but they could have snatched a last-minute win­ner when de­fender Paul Robin­son’s bun­dled ef­fort in a fi­nal flurry was well kept out by Ross Worner.

His Wim­ble­don ca­reer was on the road to nowhere from the mo­ment a Fri­day night Lon­don stand­still pre­vented him from get­ting to the club’s 2013 first round tie with Coven­try on time. It was a match his un­der­study Seb Brown un­rav­elled in as they tum­bled out.

Worner’s new Na­tional League side are still very much go­ing strong as Wim­ble­don boss Neal Ard­ley ac­cepted he would have taken a draw be­fore the start of the game.

The man­ager was wary about play­ing on a 3G pitch and his lack of ur­gency to bring on a striker to chase vic­tory was ev­i­dence enough he was happy to take the 0-0 and run.

“If you would have asked me be­fore the game if I would have taken that I’ve got to say I prob­a­bly would say yes,” said Ard­ley, whose side came up against Liver­pool two years ago.

“We had con­cerns about the pitch. It is an ad­van­tage, and Sut­ton’s record on it over the past 18 months tells you every­thing about how dif­fi­cult it is to come here and win.” Ard­ley ac­cepted Sut­ton had the bet­ter chances but in­sisted his team should have had a late penalty when cap­tain Barry Fuller was felled in the box by U’s sub Bradley Hud­sonO­doi.

“It was a penalty, 100 per cent,” he said, in con­trast to Sut­ton man­ager Paul Doswell, who be­lieves ref­eree Keith Stroud got it right hav­ing been shown a re­play just af­ter.

“You can’t tackle from be­hind like that and it should have been a penalty, there’s lit­tle doubt about it,” Ard­ley con­tin­ued. “But maybe the draw was right, we’ll take it and go back to Kingsmeadow know­ing the job is far from done.”

The hosts had the bet­ter chances and both fell to French striker Max Bi­amou.

In the first half he some­how failed to find the tar­get when clean through and in the open­ing stages of the sec­ond he made James Shea earn his keep with a great save low down.

It wasn’t an end-to-end cup tie, but what we didn’t get in cre­ative chances was made up for in en­ergy, ag­gres­sion and ten­sion.

Doswell said: “I thought we had the two best chances of the game and we re­stricted them to very lit­tle.

“I’ve said to the play­ers that they couldn’t have done any more and there’s no way they should think oth­er­wise – we were the ones who looked like a League One club out there but we know the sec­ond leg will be a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge.

“They will be the favourites.”

SUT­TON UNITED (4-4-1-1): Worner 7; Downer 7 (Hud­son-Odoi 77, 6) Beck­with 8, Collins 8, Amankwaah 8; Dea­con 7, Bailey 7, Gomis 7, East­mond 7; Bi­amou 7 (Mon­akana 90, N/A); Tubbs 6 (Fitch­ett 72, 6). Subs not used: John, May, Spence, Shaw

AFC WIM­BLE­DON (4-4-2): Shea 7; Fuller 7, Robin­son 7, Charles 8, Kelly 6; Par­rett 7 (Fran­comb 90, N/A) Bul­man 7, Reeves 6, Bar­cham 7; El­liott 6, Tay­lor 6. Subs not used: Mc­Don­nell, Owens, Robert­son, Poleon, Bar­nett, Egan

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

TUS­SLE: Sut­ton United’s Bed­sente Gomis and AFC Wim­ble­don's Jake Reeves STAR MAN KEVIN AMANKWAAH Sut­ton

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