Exeter City 0-2 AFC WimbledonLine-ups:
Exeter City: Olejnik, Woodman, Oakley (Ribeiro 82’), Holmes, Davies (Watkins 79’), Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Reid, Nichols (Morrison 58’), Tillson, Grant.
Subs: Hamon, Butterfield, McAllister, McCready.
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bulman, Robinson, Francomb, Reeves, Elliot (Azeez 68’), Rigg (Barcham 78’), Meades, Osborne, Taylor (Akinfenwa 57’).
Subs: McDonnell, Kennedy, Fitzpatrick, Sweeney.
Goals: Elliott 17’, Taylor 31’
Referee: Lee Swabey
FIRST-HALF GOALS from Wimbledon’s Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor handed Exeter City their third successive league defeat.
City’s Paul Tisdale made one change to the starting eleven who fell to a 3-0 defeat at Oxford, with Lee Holmes coming in for Ollie Watkins out wide. As for Wimbledon, Neil Ardley made a host of changes, but included defender Paul Robinson, whose red card at the weekend was overturned on a successful appeal.
It was City who created the first opening of the game when good interplay between Holmes and Woodman resulted in the latter striking a powerful right-footed shot which was kept out by James Shea. Jamie Reid was next to threaten for the Grecians, but his finish wasn’t matched by his mazy run from his own half. Having weathered the storm early on, it was Wimbledon who took the lead against the run of play on seventeen minutes, when George Francomb’s cross was met by Tom Elliott’s bullet header.
Having gone behind, the home side searched for an equaliser and it nearly came when Tom Nichols rasping free-kick was brilliantly tipped over by Shea in the dons goal. Wimbledon then went close to extending their lead – Jake Reeves' close range shot was blocked and City survived the goalmouth scramble. But the away side weren’t to be denied a second goal when Lyle Taylor overcame the offside trap before dinking the ball over the helpless Olejnik.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY 0-2 AFC WIMBLEDON
The Grecians started the second half on the front foot, with Jamie Reid curling a left-footed shot just wide of the post, before Tom Nichols' attempt was blocked.
Another chance went begging for City as Arron Davies brought a save from James Shea following Karleigh Osborne's loose header. City weren’t going to lay down without a fight, however, and they came close to pulling a goal back from sub Ollie Watkins' cross, but the Dons’ Paul Robinson headed over his own bar to preserve the away side’s two-goal advantage.
Sub Clinton Morrison then came agonisingly close to reducing the deficit, but his low sliding shot hit the outside of the post. Morrison had another chance moments later, but he couldn’t quite connect to a loose ball in the box. City have suffered home and away defeats against the Dons this season, and look to recapture their form going into the New Year.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY 0-2 AFC WIMBLEDON
Attendance: 5,072 (314 away)
Man of the Match: Jordan Tillson