Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Millwall

SID Nelson rescued a draw for Millwall against AFC Wimbledon when he nodded in a late equaliser at Kingsmeadow.

The centre-back popped up in the 94th minute to flick home a Mark Beevers header from Jack Powell’s corner.

It was no more than Millwall deserved after they created numerous chances from set-pieces, but found Dons’ keeper James Shea in inspired form.

Striker Lyle Taylor had given the home side the lead in the 15th minute, moments after Aiden O’Brien had been stretchered off.

The Lions spent most of the rest of the match firing balls into the Wimbledon box but their back four held firm until Nelson’s dramatic late intervention.

Neil Harris had made four changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Bromley on Tuesday.

David Forde, who started pre-season training two weeks later than the rest of the squad, replaced Jordan Archer in goal.

The Millwall boss shuffled his centre-back pairing with Byron Webster partnering Tony Craig.

Jimmy Abdou came in for Ben Thopmson in midfield while, with Lee Gregory injured, John Marquis and Aiden O’Brien continued together up front.

Powell was back on the bench after suffering a quad strain in training last week, while Jamie Philpot was also among the subs for the first time since the injury he suffered against Wolves in the last game of the season.

Millwall immediately put pressure on the hosts and after a spell around the home side’s box the ball fell to Joe Martin but he blasted a first-time shot over the bar.

The Dons then should have taken the lead in the fifth minute when Forde came for and missed a free-kick, Will Nightingale headed over from a couple of yards.

O’Brien and Marquis had been looking to link up frequently in the early exchanges but Millwall suffered a blow when the Irish striker picked up a knock in the box and had to be stretchered off after 14 minutes.

Kris Twardek came on the replace him but almost immediately Harris’ side fell behind.

New signing Taylor was alert to latch onto a long ball and he was able to calmly roll the ball past the onrushing Forde as Millwall once again found themselves one behind early on.

Six minutes later midfielder Jake Reeves shot over from the edge of the box when he really should have at least tested Forde.

Millwall were seeing more of the ball, but were clearly unsettled after the injury to O’Brien and Dons’ forwards Taylor and Tom Elliott were constantly looking to break in behind a high Millwall line.

Sensing that danger, Forde had to rush from his box to volley clear as Elliott looked to make the most of a hopeful ball thumped forward.

Fed Onyedinma had by this stage moved into the middle with Twardek shifted out to the right, and when the latter teed up Webster in the box eight yards out on 37 minutes, his shot was well tipped over by Shea.

That was Millwall’s best chance up to that point and another arrived a couple of minutes later.

Again it was the lively Twardek who created it, cutting inside and chipping to the back post for Marquis whose header was blocked.

The Lions had a number of set-piece opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, but that Webster effort was really the only time that Shea had been tested.

The keeper was pressed into action again four minutes into the second period when Joe Martin rolled the ball to Shaun Williams, but Shea was able to push it around the post for a corner.

Elliott then got on the end of a Reeves cross at the back post but Archer, on for Forde at half-time, was in the right place to gather.

On 55 minutes centre-back Karleigh Osborne had the chance to double the home side’s advantage but he planted his header from George Francomb's corner into the ground and it bounced harmlessly over.

At the other end Marquis tried to lob Shea but the keeper was never worried as the ball sailed well over.

Harris then introduced Nelson and Mark Beevers for Webster and Craig as the game fell a little flat.

Powell also came on for Williams in midfield in the 66th minute and he was immediately involved when Nightingale had to be alert to divert his corner over the bar on 70 minutes.

Moments later Ed Upson did well to manoeuvre himself into a shooting position in the box, but Shea was again able to beat away the effort.

Twardek then went agonisingly close with ten minutes left but after another Powell corner was half cleared to him his shot came off substitute Alfie Pavey and trickled wide.

Moments later another substitute, right-back Mahlon Romeo, had to scramble back to clear for a corner after Adebayo Azeez threatened to collect a long ball forward.

And it looked like Millwall would fall to their first pre-season defeat before 19-year-old Nelson scored to leave Millwall fans chanting his name as the referee blew the final whistle.

John Kelly


15 thoughts on “Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Millwall

  • July 18, 2015 at 17:14

    See we are scoring lots of goals in pre season friendlies do they not understand I will spell it out STRIKER I know we can't spend a million although this is considered peanuts in today's games but surely with our vast scouting network we can pick someone up for 800 grand and match our biggest ever fee going way back to Paul Goddard it's no good creating 20 chances and none find the back of the net that's what this game is about not possession or chances its goals scored

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  • July 18, 2015 at 17:14

    WE NEED A STRIKER!!!!!!!!

    this is now my default post on all threads from now on until we sign one.

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    • July 18, 2015 at 17:38

      @brooker: Absolutely this game confirms the need of a striker (or two) otherwise Millwall are going to struggle and badly.. Most contributors on here are of the same opinion though so no need to keep saying it. Seems good efforts from the youngsters again though.

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