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Saturday 05 November 2005
Ryman League, Premier Division

AFC Wimbledon    3 - 0    Maldon Town
Richard Butler (40)
Shane Smeltz (79)
Richard Butler (81)
 Andy Little 1 David McCartney 
(sub 87)  Wes Daly 2 Sammy Clarke (sub 46) 
 Michael Harvey 3 Tom McGowan 
 Antony Howard 4 Matthew Hayes 
 Steve Butler 5 Sean Bell 
 Wayne Finnie 6 Lee Williams 
 Chris Gell 7 Gareth Heath (sub 81) 
 Barry Moore 8 Dean Parratt 
 Richard Butler 9 Gary Ansell (sub 83) 
(sub 59)  Matt Fowler 10 Simon Parker 
(sub 83)  Dwayne Plummer 11 Gary Howard 
(sub 87)  Simon Sobihy 12 Nicky Rugg (sub 46) 
 Josh Lennie 13  
(sub 59)  Shane Smeltz 14 Craig Huttley 
(sub 83)  Sonny Farr 15 Simon Clarke (sub 84) 
 Dave Sargent 16 Tom Hall (sub 81) 
  17 Darren Gould 

Match report

The Dons looked to continue their good recent run with a home fixture in the driving rain against Maldon, currently struggling in the bottom three.

After an initial struggle the Dons won 2-0 at Maldon on a balmy August evening but today, in red and black shirts reminiscent of AFC Wallingford, the visitors were not going to allow the Dons an easy ride.

Strike partners Richard Butler and Matt Fowler both threatened in the first five minutes, with Fowler going closest on 5 mins when he directed a free header at keeper David McCartney.

Following his recent return to the ranks Chris Gell went straight into the midfield three with Dwayne Plummer and Barry Moore and Gell looked like he'd never been away.

Maldon's striker Simon Parker looked quite sharp and offered the main threat for the visitors, as he slipped two tackles and was foiled only by a last ditch tackle from Antony Howard as he shaped to shoot.

As the rain got heavier the Dons assumed control of midfield on a slippery surface, with Gell prominent.

Wes Daly may have started the game at right wing back but once again he was keen to chance his arm from distance - his effort on 17 minutes grazing the bar.

The breakthrough for the Dons continued to be elusive as Plummer stung the hands of keeper McCartney on 20 mins, with Fowler unable to direct the rebound goalwards.

It was not all one way traffic mind, as Parker managed a one man raid straight through the Dons rearguard on the half hour - fortunately Daly was able to smother the eventual shot.

Finally, as half time approached the Dons got the goal that their territorial advantage had warranted. For once Harvey was able to make some meaningful headway on the left and the ball broke inside to Richard Butler. The diminutive striker dropped his shoulder and then cheekily chipped McCartney, giving the Dons a deserved half time lead.

Early on the second period the Dons should have extended their lead. Slick interplay allowed Harvey to set up Plummer but he slipped as he shot and Moore only directed the rebound into the side netting.

Attempting to defend the Tempest End Maldon came under early barrage, as Moore tried a speculative effort from 20 yards which grazed the cross bar.

Indeed the Dons started the second half as they finished the first, playing slick passing football despite the rain and the greasy pitch.

As the hour mark approached, the disappointing Fowler was replaced by Smeltz, as the Dons looked for a second goal to kill off the game.

Maldon seemed content in the second half to rely on the odd breakway, one of which saw Parker's effort from 15 yards smothered by Little.

Most of the Dons' build up came up the left , with Harvey setting up a number of corners and crosses, but only a misdirected header from Richard Butler threatened McCartney's goal. Otherwise the game rather disintegrated into a dour midfield battle.

Finally the second and probably killer goal arrived with barely 10 minutes left. Richard Butler burst away from half way down the left, played in substitute Shane Smeltz and the Kiwi international slide his first goal since September beyond McCartney's despairing dive.

Richard Butler did his own chances of winnining Man of the Match no harm when yet another solo burst almost straight from the kick off was rewarded as he fired low past McCartney for a third and clinching goal.

As Farr replaced Plummer to add more midfield flair, Harvey should have added further insult to injury but only managed to fire high and wide from close in.

An encouraging 3-0 win and positive news from the reserves should leave in the Dons in good heart for their mid week trip to Staines in the Ryman League Cup.

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