POOR Seb Brown; goalkeepers have nowhere to hide. When the ball slipped through his gloves and bounced off his chest and Coventry equalised it was the cruellest of blows to a spirited Wimbledon, writes The Wizard of Oz.
The Dons not only merited their 1-0 lead but could easily have been further ahead but for the brilliance of the goalkeeper at the other end. As Bobby Gould called it, “A tale of two goalkeepers”.
It was a nothing ball, a simple take, a regulation catch yet somehow Seb got it all wrong and the ball reared up off his chest.
We all held our breath as it hung in the air and thought he had retrieved the situation when he appeared to turn and catch it but his momentum on the slippery turf was taking him across the line and he let the ball go to be gleefully accepted by Coventry’s Callum Wilson.
Seb Brown wasn’t supposed to be there but Ross Worner had been delayed getting to the ground and so Seb stepped into the limelight to prove all his doubters wrong but instead proved them right.
The goal knocked the wind out of Wimbledon’s sails and they were still mentally disorganised when Coventry took the lead; a sharp skilful goal finished by Baker, showing what Coventry could be capable of, if allowed.
Wimbledon dominated the first half; inspired by the searing runs of George Porter they had Coventry on the back foot. Porter raced down the right and set up Harry Pell for a fierce volley which Joe Murphy somehow instinctively saved. And it was Porter again, cutting in, and bringing the best out of the excellent Murphy.
Wimbledon were organised and determined; they kept possession well and with Sammy Moore, Harry Pell and Peter Sweeney dictating play they kept trying to force the issue. Sweeney’s brilliant pass unlocked the Coventry defence but Smith placed the chance too close to the keeper.
A Cup upset seemed on the cards but Sammy Moore almost scored an own goal when he deflected a ball onto the post; a warning to Wimbledon that there was still work to do.
And then came Seb Brown’s catastrophic error. Just to rub salt into the wound Lady Luck intervened and a tame free kick from distance took a wicked deflection off Callum Kennedy to wrong foot Brown and make it 3-1.
Wimbledon were now all out of puff and dejectedly left the field at the end. It was a cruel end to a game in which the Dons had given their all and produced some of their best football of the season.
My MoM goes to Smith who led the line well, who scored one and could easily have scored more. He was well supported by the tireless Sammy Moore, the elegant Sweeney and the lively Porter. In truth all the players played well apart from Brown who actually had very little to do.
Brown’s Wimbledon career is all but finished; I would suggest that Wimbledon uses the funds generated from this game to come to an arrangement to bring his contract to an end.
It is a sad way to go for a player whose legendary exploits from the penalty spot at Eastlands did so much to get Wimbledon back into the Football League but clearly this level of football is beyond him.
Unable to get to Kingsmeadow, Kingsmeadow came to me courtesy of BT Sports. The chortling commentary of Bobby Gould as he gave us a ninety-minute nostalgia trip of both clubs was a delight; it is not often you listen to such bias and enjoy it!
Read more in the WDSA match thread.