Football: Dons find something to celebrate

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The Independent Online
Wimbledon 1

Coventry City 2

Carl Cort may have celebrated only his 20th birthday with his sixth goal in 11 games on Saturday - but his team-mate Robbie Earle believes that an England call-up may not be very far away.

It was not enough for a point, however, as Coventry scored their first away goals in the league this season through Darren Huckerby and Dion Dublin to claim their first away win.

But Cort provided one of Wimbledon's bright spots. "He's confident, he's got a good attitude, he's nicely natured and he wants to learn and he's showing what he's good at," said Earle.

"If we can get the deliveries in the box - he's also a good hold-up player as well - he's got a great eye for goal and he's probably the big plus in the season so far."

So far the Dons have looked well short of last season's form and Earle identifies an uncharacteristically poor defensive record - just two clean sheets - as a major factor.

Both Coventry goals were the result of poor defending, with the goalkeeper Neil Sullivan kicking the ball straight at Dublin to concede the second.

Coventry's opening goal was scored by Huckerby, a reward for the extra training he put in last week. "He has natural talent and can make goals from nothing," said his manager Gordon Strachan, who singled out Gary McAllister for special praise. "But he needs to work on a lot of things in his game. He will get more training until he is the finished article."

Goals: Huckerby (16) 0-1; Dublin (22) 0-2; Cort (28) 1-2.

Wimbledon: Sullivan; Cunningham, Jones, Blackwell, Thatcher, C Hughes, Earle, Ekoku (Gayle, 70), Perry, M Hughes, Cort. Substitutes not used: McAllister, Ardley, Clarke, Heald (gk).

Coventry City: Ogrizovic; Shaw, Burrows, Williams, Breen, Huckerby, Dublin, McAllister, Telfer, Soltvedt, Hall. Substitutes not used: Salako, Boland, Johansen, Haworth, Hedman (gk).

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield). Bookings: Wimbledon: Jones, Perry.

Man of the match: McAllister.

Attendance: 11,201.