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Club News

Green returns in development game

3 November 2014

Winger Danny Green made his comeback from injury on Monday, playing 62 minutes in the Dons’ Final Third Development League Cup tie against AFC Wimbledon.

Green was starting in his first game since the Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United on 26th August, but he couldn’t prevent David Oldfield’s side suffering a 3-0 defeat at stadiummk.

The 26-year-old, who has been battling a frustrating hamstring issue, was one of eight first-team squad members in the Dons’ starting XI, which also included a host of apprentices.

One of those experienced heads, Carl Baker, had the game’s first shot inside the first two minutes but his drilled effort from 20-yards skidded wide of the right-hand upright.

Green then sent a shot wide of target before the visitors took the lead with their first real chance of the game on 18 minutes - a fiercely struck effort by George Oakley into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Dons almost responded immediately from the re-start but after Samir Carruthers’ low shot was saved by AFC Wimbledon keeper Joe McDonnell, Baker’s rebound was blocked on the line by Ryan Sweeney.

On 32 minutes, Green curled a 25-yard free-kick over the AFC Wimbledon crossbar as the Dons pressed for an equaliser before the half-time whistle. Mark Randall also went close from just outside the box but his effort was saved and held by McDonnell.

The threat from the visitors was still there, however, and in the 36th minute Oakley came within inch of doubling his tally with another powerful effort towards the bottom left corner.

Oldfield’s side finished the first half strong but just a minute after the re-start, AFC Wimbledon were able to double their lead from the penalty spot following a foul on Kevin Sainte-Luce from Harry Hickford. Chace Jacquart was the man trusted with the kick and he made no mistake from 12 yards.

Keen to pull themselves back into the contest as soon as possible, the Dons went straight on the attack from kick-off but Carruthers, who did well to create room for a shot, fired wide of the target.

The Dons, though, fell further behind in the 53th minute to a terrific solo goal from Sainte-Luce, who beat two defenders before firing into the roof of the net from just inside the box.

Randall tried to provide a spark with an ambitious 45-yard effort which AFC Wimbledon keeper McDonnell was equal to, before Baker came within a whisker of connecting with Green’s teasing corner.

That cross proved to be Green’s final piece of action as he was withdrawn an hour into his comeback. Seeing the Dons’ number 7 back on the stadiummk pitch was a welcome sight to Dons supporters and no doubt manager Karl Robinson, who was also in attendance.

Green’s replacement, Lewis Rankin, came close to pulling a goal back with his first touch on 62 minutes but his curled shot was smothered by McDonnell.

Will Summerfield then had a great chance to reduce the deficit after latching onto Randall’s superb pass but the winger’s volley fell just wide of the left-hand post.

In the 72nd minute, Baker forced McDonnell into a save with a lofted shot which came close to catching the AFC Wimbledon out, before a Carruthers effort was blocked by Sweeney.

With time running out, Randall curled over from a free-kick and Summerfield headed wide as the Dons slipped to their first loss of their Development Cup campaign.

Head of Coaching Richie Barker said: "Thanks to for promoting Lewis Rankin (trialist) to us. AAB is another way of finding players and more talent to improve our squad. We thought we did well tonight, especially after only meeting the team today, and now we will watch him in games for his club."

Starting XI: McLoughlin; Daffern, Hickford, Flanagan, Okito; Randall, Baker; Green (Rankin 62), Carruthers, Summerfield; Owusu (Vaughan 75)

Unused subs: Burns (GK), Tingey, Wiltshire, Weston.

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