Point at AFC Wimbledon keeps Morecambe in touch with rivals

Morecambe produced a solid defensive performance as they picked up a good point at fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon in a 0-0 draw.

By Derek Quinn
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 9:55 am

The Shrimps kept a rare and welcome clean sheet to come away with a deserved point against a side just above them in the League One table.

Returning boss Stephen Robinson made two changes to the Shrimps’ starting line-up from the FA Cup clash with Spurs last week, with Aaron Wildig and Arthur Gnahoua returning, while Trevor Carson and Jacob Bedeau were chosen to make their league debuts for the club.

The latter pair had excellent games with Bedeau providing excellent support for skipper Anthony O’Connor at the heart of the defence and Carson making a world-class save from Ollie Palmer’s goal-bound second-half header.

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Cole Stockton went close for Morecambe in their 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon (Getty Images)

The only real disappointment for Robinson was that his side failed to force home keeper Nick Tzanev into a save of any note despite getting into several decent positions.

Wimbledon started on the front foot Paul Osew seeing an early cross headed wide by Jack Rudoni.

Wimbledon dominated the early possession but it was Morecambe who looked sharper on the counter.

Shane McLoughlin, playing against his former club, was played in on goal down the right-hand side but could only find the side-netting with his shot from the angle.

The Shrimps slowly began to grow into the game, and it was Cole Stockton who was next to threaten as a lofted ball set him away clear on the Dons’ goal, before Ben Heneghan produced a brilliant sliding challenge to divert the ball away from the Shrimps’ top scorer.

Stockton threatened again early in the second half with a superb turn in the box that ended with a shot that fizzed over the crossbar before Wimbledon began to force the pace.

Carson was forced to scramble to his left to tip away a George Marsh volley for a corner, before the Ireland international produced the save of the game.

Will Nightingale’s deft nod on from a Luke McCormick corner was met by Palmer, whose effort looked to be heading into the roof of the Shrimps’ goal before Carson made a superb save to tip the ball over.

Palmer threatened again as the ball broke to him on the left-hand side of the box, but his shot lacked power and was easily scooped up by Carson.

The Dons then almost took the lead as Ayoub Assal’s cross clattered against the crossbar with Carson beaten all ends up.

Morecambe hit back towards the end of the game with Jonah Ayunga blazing a shot over and then just failing to find the run of Ryan Cooney, who looked set to sneak in behind his marker in the box.

In the end both sides had to settle for a draw keeping the Shrimps in touching distance of their opponents in the table ahead of a busy week of fixtures.

Wimbledon: Tzanev, Alexander, Heneghan, Nightingale, Osew, Marsh, Woodyard, Assal (Kajal 83), Rudoni (Mebude 83), McCormick, Palmer (Ablade 88). Subs not used: Oualah, Lawrence, Chislett, Cosgrave.

Morecambe: Carson, McLaughlin, O’Connor, Bedeau, Leigh, Wildig (Cooney 68), McLoughlin, Gnahoua (McDonald 75), Diagouraga, Stockton, Ayunga (McCalmont 88). Subs not used: Letheren, Jones, Delaney, Gibson. Referee: B Speedie.