MK Dons 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
Jon Otsemobor’s injury-time winner booked MK Dons a place in the Third Round of the FA Cup with Budweiser with a dramatic 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon.
Stephen Gleeson gave the Dons the lead in the first half with a stunning long-range effort but Jack Midson fired in an equaliser for the visitors.
The game was there for the taking and it was Jon Otsemobor who was the unlikely hero as he cropped up with an excellent back-heeled winner in injury time.
The historic match was unlikely to live up to the build up and while the first half was largely dour, the final stages were explosive.
The atmosphere was tense and hostile as expected for the youngest rivalry in football. The Dons made one change to the side who thrashed Colchester United a week earlier with skipper Dean Lewington returning after being passed fit to play.
And it was Lewington who was in the thick of the action in the early phases as he advanced from his full-back position to attempt a plucky shot from outside the area which went just over.
Dons had another chance shortly after when Shaun Williams’ free-kick picked out Jon Otsemobor’s header for Neil Sullivan to collect.
In the opening quarter of an hour neither side had established a strong holding on the game, but slowly the Dons started to impose their style on their AFC Wimbledon visitors an pushing them on to the back foot.
Ahead of the game Dons boss Karl Robinson was given a boost when Angelo Balanta and Zeli Ismail were granted permission to play in the Cup tie by their parent clubs. It was Balanta who edge close to breaking the deadlock when some excellent build-up play involving Dean Bowditch and Luke Chadwick resulted in Balanta darting inside the area to send a curling effort wide of the right post.
AFC Wimbledon were battling to get out of their half and when they were presented with a corner, a clever set-piece was quickly undone by the Dons and Shaun Williams eased the pressure by launching the hosts onto the counterattack.
The tricky Toby Ajala was a key asset for AFC Wimbledon, all their positive play was played through the on-loan winger ensuring Lewington was kept on his toes.
As the Dons pressed AFC Wimbledon piled the bodies behind the ball, forcing the Dons to spray the ball around between Gleeson and Potter to pick at the gaps which did open up in front of them.
Such was the determination for the Dons to crack through AFC Wimbledon’s wall of men goalkeeper David Martin did his best to hurry the side along by taking a throw-in to release the side quickly.
It had been one-way traffic in the first half but Yado Mambo and Will Antwi were alert to all the forward play as they swallowed up chance after chance. Lewington was playing a key role in the Dons’ play and his cross-come-shot kept Sullivan in the action as he took a number of attempts to keep hold of the spinning ball.
For all of their dominance the Dons were unable to disrupt the AFC Wimbledon tactics that was until the 45th minute when the ball fell to Gleeson who was some 35-yards from goal. With no way through the AFC Wimbledon defence the cries from the stands was ‘shoot’ and the midfielder had no other choice but to do as instructed.
With a terrific right boot Gleeson unleashed a screamer of a strike into the top corner, which duly lifted the roof off stadiummk. The goal could not have come at a better time for the Dons as they carried the lead into half-time.
Within two minutes of the restart the Dons were back on the front foot when Luke Moore’s foul on Williams presented the Dons with another chance to test Sullivan when Lewington saw his deadball delivery palmed over by the former Wimbledon ‘keeper.
By his own standards, Balanta had been out-of-sorts but was looking for a bigger impact as he threaded a delightful through ball to Ryan Lowe, yet the striker’s low shot was deflected wide.
The passion was evident from both sides, and AFC Wimbledon dug deep to catch the Dons cold as Jack Midson’s diving header got the better of Martin in goal and pulled the scores level.
The Dons thought they had edged back in front in the 70th minute when Zeli Ismail, on for Balanta, collected Potter’s long ball but was judged to be in an offside position as he passed to Lowe, who turned the ball home only to see the offside flag raised.
There was nervous tension in the air at stadiummk as the play opened up with both sides looking to take the lead and perhaps one step closer to the Third Round of the Cup.
AFC Wimbledon had a period of pressure which threatened to trouble the Dons when they found space in the defence for newly-introduced Charlie Strutton saw his effort fall just over the bar.
The Dons were searching for a late goal, with Antony Kay’s header not followed up by anyone in the box while Chadwick’s tame shot fell kindly into the arms of Sullivan.
As added time approached AFC Wimbledon had an incredible opportunity to find the winner yet somehow Steven Gregory’s strike found the fingertips of Martin.
There was late, late drama at stadiummk though as a corner forced a scramble in the box which was Ismail’s shot deflected up for Otsemobor who dug out a shot from nothing to nestle into the net and with it sealed the Dons' place in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch, Chadwick, Balanta (Ismail 66); Lowe (Smith 80).
Subs: McLoughlin, Kouo-Doumbe, MacDonald, Chicksen, Sekajja.
Goals: Gleeson 45, Otsemobor 90
AFC Wimbledon: Sullivan, Osano, Long, Harrison (Strutton 72), Midson, Moore (Johnson 81), Fenlon, Gregory (c), Antwi, Mambo, Ajala.
Subs: Jaimez-Ruiz, Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Djalali.
Booked: Moore, Midson, Ajala
Goal: Midson 59
Referee: Scott Mathieson
Attendance: 16, 459 (3030 away)
Goal-Don Goal times: 1st goal - 44.50; 2nd goal - 58.26; 3rd goal - 90.00