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Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Stevenage (AFC Wimbledon win 6-5 on penalties)

5 September 2023

Match Reports

Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Stevenage (AFC Wimbledon win 6-5 on penalties)

5 September 2023

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Our EFL Trophy opener ends as a draw, with the hosts claiming an extra point on penalties…

Steve Evans made eight changes to his starting eleven that enjoyed the 3-0 victory at Leyton Orient on Saturday, with most notably the inclusions of deadline day signings Harvey White and Kane Hemmings from the off.

Reece Hannam and Harry Anderson also made their first starts for Stevenage since joining the Club in the summer.

Jake Forster-Caskey returned to the starting line-up as his suspension isn’t upheld for EFL Trophy fixtures, while Dan Sweeney, Jordan Roberts, Charlie McNeill and Dan Butler were all rested after a busy start to the season.

The first shot of the game came within the opening few moments, as AFC Wimbledon’s Josh Davison fired high and wide from distance following a lay off from Morgan Williams.

Minutes later, Stevenage had the first effort on target, as Elliott List went close after a lovely through ball from Harvey White, firing down the line at Nik Tzanev in the Dons’ net.

Harvey White showed his threat from set pieces as his free-kick from 25 yards looked destined for the net, before a deflection took his shot just wide of the mark.

As expected, Boro were on top seeing more of the ball and looking the most likely to open the scoring. Harvey White went close again, linking up with fellow deadline day Kane Hemmings before firing just wide on the half volley fifteen minutes before the break.

Josh Davison threatened for the hosts again, shooting just wide with his left foot from inside the box, before then heading wide a Morgan Williams cross minutes later.

Just before the break, Harrison Neal forced a stretching save from Nik Tzanev with his thunderous strike from thirty yards, but the two sides would go in level and goalless at the interval.

Jamie Reid replaced Harry Anderson before the restart, after the winger appeared to pick up a knock late in the first half. A second change was then forced minutes later, with Finley Burns replacing the injured Reece Hannam.

Despite two forced changes, it would be Stevenage to strike first in West London. A relentless Boro’ press on the Wimbledon defence and goalkeeper reaped its rewards when Jake Forster-Caskey’s interception resulted in the midfielder getting tripped inside the box by the hosts’ Williams.

Up stepped Jamie Reid, who fired low into the goalkeeper’s bottom left corner to give Stevenage a deserved lead.

The goal scorer then headed wide from a deep Alex MacDonald cross five minutes later, as Steve Evans looked to his bench once more. Carl Piergianni and Elliott List were brought off with around 25 minutes to play, replaced by Luther James-Wildin and Nick Freeman.

Five minutes after the numerous changes to the Stevenage defence, AFC Wimbledon found a way to equalise. A free-kick five yards from the corner of the Stevenage box was whipped into a dangerous area before finding Joe Lewis who headed level.

Theo Alexandrou was introduced with just over ten minutes left to play, as both sides looked to avoid a penalty shootout.

James Tilley went close for the hosts with a left-footed strike from the edge of the Boro box falling wide, before the referee blew for full-time and the spoils were shared

With an extra point up for grabs, penalties were taken in front of the opposite end to the Stevenage fans, with AFC Wimbledon winning 6-5 in the shootout after Nick Freeman’s effort was saved by Tzanev.

Attendance: 1,317 (inc. 95 away)


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