LESS IS MOORE

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luke moore
Luke Moore .. league goal No.29

IT’s been 30 years since Wimbledon and the ‘Magaluf Shuffle’ last came to Gigg Lane to celebrate a championship and Luke Moore made sure the Dons took something home with them on Saturday while the navel-gazing continues at Bury.

You read the reaction of the home fans and the mood at the Shakers is depressing. Plenty want the caretaker manager Ronnie Jepson out, the club is wallowing in 21st spot, just a point above the relegation zone.

It’s a classic case of a cash-strapped club relegated from League 1, with a new board of directors that saved the Shakers in the summer and signed nearly 30 players trying to kick-start the club’s dwindling fortunes.

“It’s not as depressing as last season but not far off! Home performances have been awful for the past 5-6 weeks and we are conceding lots of goals and hardly scoring any,” one Shakers fan told WDSA.

“We have the nucleus of a decent side and should be much higher up the league but until we get a proper manager I fear we’ll be nearer the bottom than the top.”

There might be some (not many) who are impatient at times over the occasional bad Wimbledon result, but you only have to see how far the Club has come — the old Dons beat Bury  3-1 in the final game of their Division 4 championship season in 1982-83 under Dave Bassett, and yet 30 years on the Shakers are back to where they were and the Dons – having to start from scratch – are above mid-table and just two points outside the playoffs.

You know where you’d rather want your club to be. Sometimes you should appreciate just what you’ve got.

Yet the reality is that the Dons travelled north to a club playing in League 1 last season and came away with a point. It may not have been fancy but these are the building blocks of a successful season. You don’t necessarily play all that well, yet you have something to show for it.

Wimbledon are about halfway in points to what they set out to achieve: to stave off the threat of relegation and perhaps press on under Ardley for a crack at the playoffs.

It also continues a little run of success since that six game win-less run that marooned the Dons and there is no apparent residue with Ardley’s team still in with a shout of the playoffs more than one-third of the way into the season.

The Dons fell behind to a goal in the 35th minute. Former Aldershot striker Danny Hylton, on loan from Rotherham, met Dean Howell’s cross and beat Ross Worner with a looping header.

The Shakers had barely tested Worner up to that point after Wimbledon had started the better. The Dons would again have to come from behind in the second-half.

Ardley brought off on-loan Kaid Mohamed in the 64th minute, Jack Midson came off the bench and the Dons were level two minutes later through the reliable Luke Moore.

A long hopeful ball from former Shaker Peter Sweeney looked as though Cameron would clear the danger, but the centre half suddenly lost his footing and allowed Luke Moore to latch onto the ball as he entered the area, his first touch was to lash the ball past Brian Jensen and into the back of the Shakers goal for their equaliser.
Read more at http://www.buryfc.co.uk/news/article/shakers-held-at-the-jd-1192682.aspx#F63bRQftUDbslWQ1.99

A long ball from former Shaker Peter Sweeney looked as though defender Nathan Cameron would clear the danger, but the centre half lost his footing and allowed Moore to lash the ball past Brian Jensen for the equaliser.

http://twitter.com/ShakersNews/status/404294040033980416

It was Moore’s first goal since the August home match against Wycombe Wanderers and he showed great movement to pounce on Michael Smith’s flick-on to produce an emphatic finish. That was Moore’s 29th league goal since joining the Dons from Ebbsfleet in July 2009.

The Dons picked up after Moore’s goal and could have nabbed all the points had substitute Jim Fenlon’s superb late effort had not sailed just wide.

“When you’re 1-0 down at half-time, and the opposition have caused you quite a few problems I think you’d take a point,” Ardley said. “We came out much better after the break as well as digging in when not playing particularly well.

“There was a lot more penetration and movement in the second-half.  We got in behind their back four and I thought that in the end we looked like we had a lot more of a threat. Overall, I think it was a hard-earned point at a tough place to go.”

It was Wimbledon’s ninth away point this campaign and sets up for Tuesday’s London derby against the much-improved Dagenham & Redbridge at Kingsmeadow.

Soccer - npower Football League One - Notts County v Bury - Meadow Lane
Peter Sweeney .. Highly regarded at Bury.

WDSA’s Rob Bushaway was at the game and said: “It didn’t look like Bury posed any threat at all and I was surprised when Bury scored. Then it was almost like waiting for the 60 minute mark to get the inevitable substitutions and go looking for an equaliser.

“Bang on cue on comes Jack Midson, we look more threatening, and get the equaliser. Jim Fenlon nearly nicked it right near the end with a great curling effort. At the end I think the players and the fans seemed happy to get a point and extend our recent unbeaten run in the league.”

Long-time Bury fan Malcolm Parr told WDSA:”Wimbledon are a hard-working, honest team who play for each other. Like many teams in the 4th tier they lack a reliable goal scorer.

“They aren’t afraid of ‘putting it about’ when this is required; this is something Bury don’t do, hence our position in the table. On Saturday’s  showing, I don’t think Wimbledon are realistic contenders for a play-off position.

“They lack a game-changing player. However, they will secure a top-half finish if they continue to battle for each other.”

And a closing thought from a Shakers’ fan on AFC Wimbledon’s connection with Bury FC  — midfielder Peter Sweeney, signed last January.

“The best passer of a ball we’ve had in the past 15 years. A crucial part of the team that won promotion three years ago who was then treated disgracefully by Kevin Blackwell last season,” Neil Davis said.

“He allegedly left for personal reasons (his family are from the south) but he texted a few of our fans after he’d gone saying he didn’t want to leave but he had to because Blackwell had forced him out.

“One of my favourite Bury players despite only being at the club for a couple of years and also a really nice bloke.”

Read more on WDSA match thread

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Battling performance earns reward for the Dons

Luke Moore struck his first goal since August to earn a point for Wimbledon at Gigg Lane and reward the visitors for an improved second-half display this afternoon.

The attacking midfielder (pictured) rifled home past Bury goalkeeper Brian Jensen to secure a 1-1 draw that extended Wimbledon’s unbeaten league run to three matches and provided something to shout about for the 387 Dons fans who made the trip. On the balance of play, it was a deserved point for Neal Ardley’s men as they showed a spirited response after falling behind to Danny Hylton’s first-half header.

Neal Ardley made just one enforced change to the side that started against Portsmouth with Luke Moore given the nod to replace Harry Pell. As expected, Andy Frampton shrugged off a shoulder knock to make it an unchanged back-line for the Dons.

It did not take long for Luke Moore to get involved as he latched onto a loose ball in the very first minute and struck a half volley wide. Wimbledon made a bright start at Gigg Lane and they were gifted a great chance to take the lead Bury in the fourth minute. George Porter seized on a poor back pass and powered through, but he ran the ball too far with his first touch and was crowded out by Bury goalkeeper Brian Jensen.

Bury’s start summed up their recent poor run as they were very shaky at the back and handed the initiative to Wimbledon. Porter was quick to pounce on such uncertainty and the winger’s dazzling run left Dean Howell for dead, but Michael Smith’s header from his cross was cleared off the line by William Edjenguele. However, the hosts, who were plying their trade in League 1 last season, started to find their feet after those early let-offs and it needed Dons goalkeeper Ross Worner to pull off a fine finger-tip save to turn away Danny Hylton’s header.

However, the Dons were made to pay for switching off in the 35th minute. Former Aldershot striker Hylton, who is on loan from Rotherham, rose highest in the box from Howell’s cross and beat Worner with a looping header. It was a goal that never seemed on the cards as Bury had barely tested Worner prior to that moment, but perhaps Wimbledon had paid the price for not capitalising on the home side’s lack of confidence early on.

Wimbledon did have a decent spell just before the break with their best opportunity coming when Sammy Moore’s clever through ball picked out Luke Moore in space behind the Bury defence, but his delivery was blocked and the chance was gone.

The Dons yet again needed to come behind in the second-half, a situation they had successfully come through on so many occasions this season, and they could have been level within two minutes after the break. Captain Alan Bennett picked out Smith with a smart ball through ball and though the striker’s first touch was excellent, he perhaps should have done better with the finish as he powered his shot into the side-netting.

Just down the road from Wimbledon’s last away match at Rochdale, the Dons needed to seize the second-half initiative in the same manner as they had at Spotlands Stadium if they were to take anything away from Gigg Lane. They needed to do better though than Smith’s effort as he shot weakly into the hands of Jensen after being put through by Mohamed.

That was Mohamed’s last contribution as he made way for Jack Midson in the 64th minute. Less than a minute later and Wimbledon were level. Luke Moore, who had not scored since Wimbledon’s first home match against Wycombe Wanderers in August, showed great movement to pounce on Smith’s flick-on, before producing an emphatic finish that left Jensen with no chance. It was now a completely different game as Wimbledon moved through the gears and one eye-catching move ended with Kennedy volleying across the face of goal from Sammy Moore’s pass, but the ball eluded everyone in the box. Smith, who led the line effectively throughout, then created a shooting opportunity for Kennedy, but his shot was high and wide.

With 15 minutes to go and Bury retreating into their own half, victory was perhaps up for grabs for Wimbledon. There was a scare for the Dons though when Alan Bennett’s clearance fell short and Danny Nardiello pounced, but Worner reacted well to save.

The introduction of Charlie Sheringham for Luke Moore five minutes from time suggested that Wimbledon were gunning for victory, but they had to settle for a creditable point in the end. It could have been even better if substitute Jim Fenlon’s superb late effort had not sailed just wide, but the draw at least maintained Wimbledon’s recent improvement.

AFC Wimbledon: Ross Worner, Barry Fuller, Callum Kennedy, Peter Sweeney, Andy Frampton, Alan Bennett, Sammy Moore, Michael Smith, Luke Moore (Charlie Sheringham), George Porter (Jim Fenlon), Kaid Mohamed (Jack Midson).

Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/the-dons-at-bury-1191530.aspx#7iISFFc8r4QbFqqA.99

1 COMMENT

  1. “…Jack Midson came off the bench and the Dons were level two minutes later through the reliable Luke Moore.” … “Bang on cue on comes Jack Midson, we look more threatening, and get the equaliser.” Fascinating and revealing comments. Why Midson is not a 90 minute player surely remains the fans greatest mystery? Is it some form of master plan by NA? Is he saving JM for that last match penalty? I would love to know!

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