DON AND DUSTED FOR SHAYMEN!

FC HAL­I­FAX TOWN 1 AFC Han­son (og) 85 WIMBLEDON 3 Pur­ring­ton 42, Wordsworth 72, Pig­ott 75

The Non-League Football Paper - - SATURDAY MATCH CENTRE - By Phil Bren­nan

NA­TIONAL League side FC Hal­i­fax Town were left rue a host of missed chances as League One AFC Wimbledon ended their FA Cup hopes and eased their way into the third round where a po­ten­tial big gun lies in wait.

The man­ager­less Dons led at half-time thanks to a Ben Pur­ring­ton strike just be­fore the break, although against the run of play af­ter the Shaymen had cre­ated enough op­por­tun­ties to force their way ahead.

And they were made to pay af­ter the break when two goals in three min­utes from An­thony Wordsworth and for­mer Maid­stone striker Joe Pig­ott en­sured that a late James Han­son own goal was just con­so­la­tion.

In de­feat, how­ever, Hal­i­fax boss Jamie Fullar­ton was full of praise for his side af­ter knock­ing out League Two More­cambe in the last round.

“The dif­fer­ence in the two sides was the fin­ish­ing, they were clin­i­cal, and we weren’t,” Fullar­ton said.

“But we hope that the lads will learn from today and be better play­ers for it.”

Cameron King and Josh Staunton were both guilty of squan­der­ing chances for the Shaymen in the first half with Matty Ko­sylo strik­ing a post with Town’s best chance fol­low­ing a long mazy run from his own half.

The half ended with the home side claim­ing re­ward for a penalty af­ter Dayle South­well ap­peared to be hauled down in the box but the striker was booked for his protes­ta­tions when noth­ing was given by referee Ben Toner.

AFC Wimbledon looked a better side af­ter the break, en­joy­ing more pos­ses­sion of the ball and cre­at­ing the more chances.

Wordsworth fired a free­kick just over while for­mer Dover mid­fielder Mitch Pin­nock twice went close.

In the end, it was Wordsworth who net­ted the all-im­por­tant sec­ond goal, step­ping in­side his man be­fore bend­ing a su­perb ef­fort be­yond Sam John­son.

Three min­utes later, the game was over as a con­test as striker Pig­ott grabbed the goal his hard work de­served, find­ing space in the box and ri­fling home passed John­son.

The in­tro­duc­tion of sub­sti­tute Mekhi McLeod gave the home side more mo­men­tum – his long-range ef­fort test­ing Dons keeper Joe McDon­nell, who stretched to tip the ball over for a cor­ner.

And he was in­volved in the move that saw Wimbledon sub Han­son head past his own keeper five min­utes from time to give the Shaymen hope.

But un­for­tu­nately for the home side the gran­stand fin­ish failed the ma­te­ri­alise, although McLeod gave thwe fans some­thing to cheer with a mazy run down the left and a cross to find the wait­ing Jonathan Ed­wards at the far post but the big striker could only find the side net­ting.

Wimbledon care­taker boss Si­mon Bassey com­mented: “The goal be­fore the break made no dif­fer­ence to what I had to say to the lads at half­time, they hadn’t reached the lev­els we ex­pect of them, we were lucky not to be two or three down. The fact we were a goal to the good was a bonus.”

STAR MAN: Joe Pig­ott (AFC Wimbledon) ATT: 2,044 ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Ben Toner 7/10

PICTURE: PA Images

SLIDING IN: Cameron King, left, bat­tles for the ball with An­thony Hart­ing­ton, while Joe Pig­ott scores AFC Wimbledon’s third, in­set top, and cel­e­brates, be­low

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