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Match Report | AFC Wimbledon 3-3 Rochdale

27 April 2021

A 96th minute goal from Joe Pigott denied Rochdale all three points at Plough Lane, as AFC Wimbledon came from behind to snatch a point from a 3-3 draw.

Dale had opened up a two goal advantage either side of half-time thanks to Jake Beesley and Gabriel Osho, but two goals during a five minute spell put the Dons level. Jack Rudoni halved the deficit before Ollie Palmer equalised.

Jimmy Keohane put Rochdale back in front in the 73rd minute, but Pigott netted at the death to claim a point for the hosts. 

Jimmy McNulty, Conor Shaughnessy and Matty Done came in for Paul McShane, Aaron Morley and Stephen Dooley, as Manager Brian Barry-Murphy made three changes from Saturday’s game at Crewe Alexandra. 

There was a nervy moment early on as AFC Wimbledon almost took the lead through an own goal. Thankfully the back pass struck the side netting. 

Guinness-Walker then dragged an effort wide from 25-yards, before Gabriel Osho rose highest to meet Done’s free-kick but could only steer his header wide of the target. 

A short time later, Ayoub Assal looped a header up and over Lynch which dropped wide of the post.

The best chance of the half so far came in the 25th minute, but AFC Wimbledon were unable to capitalise from it. Guinness-Walker got to the byline and flashed a dangerous low ball across the face of goal but there was no-one to tap it home from close range.

As the hosts dominated for spell, Ben Heneghan then headed past the post from a corner, while Pigott headed over from one, but were unable to register an opportunity on target. 

Rochdale were in charge during the latter stages of the half and they came from inches of breaking the deadlock in the 36th minute. Done burst through on goal before finding Grant who in turn played in Keohane out on the left. Taking the ball on his right, he went for the top corner, but curled narrowly wide of the post. 

Captain Eoghan O’Connell then had a shot from range deflected past the upright. 

And the opener came in the 41st minute, to give Dale the lead heading into the break. Conor Grant's low corner to the near post was turned home by Beesley a yard from goal.

Before the half was out, Rochdale had a penalty claim turned down on the stroke of half-time. Beesley looked to have had his legs taken from under him as he went to get his shot away in a dangerous position but the referee wasn’t interested. 

HT | AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Rochdale

Three minutes after the restart AFC Wimbledon’s Luke O’Neil was kept out by the woodwork, as his cross to the back post struck the face of the bar. 

Soon after up the other end, Conor Shaughnessy hit a volley wide after getting on the end of Done’s free-kick. 

Dale’s second of the evening came in the 57th minute, with Osho scoring his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Luton Town during the January transfer window. 

The young defender timed his run perfectly to get on the end of Shaughnessy’s long throw in and to nod into the bottom corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

The advantage was short lived, though, as the Dons responded by scoring two goals in five minutes to draw the game level.

They halved the deficit when Assal's cross from the right was headed home from close range by Rudoni, before Palmer tapped home a loose ball from close range into an unguarded net after Lynch had been upended inside six-yard box.

Rochdale came close on two occasions before going on to regain the lead. 

Nik Tzanev did brilliantly to turn a Beesley chance behind at his near post after the Dale forward had got on the end of Ryan McLaughlin’s cross. 

Sixty seconds later, from a Done corner, Shaughnessy had a header deflected narrowly over the bar. 

And Dale were back in front with 73 minutes on the clock. Done’s corner was flicked onto Keohane at the back post and he stooped to head beyond Tzanev. 

There was a super save by Lynch to deny substitute Ryan Longman, as the Dale ‘keeper got down to turn the close range effort round the upright, before a double Rochdale substitution followed in the 80th minute, when Done and Grant made way for Stephen Humphrys and Matthew Lund, respectively. 

Soon after, Lynch denied Pigott from the penalty spot. The Dale goalkeeper was equal to Pigott’s spot-kick to main Dale’s lead. 

But Rochdale were dealt a sucker punch six minutes into added time - Pigott fired home to snatch a point for the hosts. 

FT | AFC Wimbledon 3-3 Rochdale 


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