Football: Dons' fire rewarded by Euell

Huddersfield Town 1 Wimbledon 2 aet; score at 90 minutes 1-1
Click to follow
The Independent Online
WHILE OTHER Premiership clubs pay lip service to the Worthington Cup, there is no doubting Wimbledon's commitment to the cause. Twice semi- finalists in the last three years, they reached the fifth round last night with a performance that was neither understrength in terms of the their team or their commitment.

Trailing to Scott Sellars' first-half goal, Wimbledon, who would toil and scrap in an egg and spoon race never mind a competition that has a European place at the end of it, took the match to extra time with a spectacular free-kick by Alan Kimble and then secured a tie against Bolton Wanderers with Jason Euell's glancing header in the 101st minute.

Huddersfield, riding high in the First Division and beaten only once in their last 10 games, will have to look to the FA Cup third round and Liverpool a week on Sunday for an attempt at a shock. On the evidence of this match they might achieve it.

On a night of unpredictable and violent gusts of wind which made finesse a hopeless cause, they matched their Premiership opponents in everything except finishing. Even so, their supporters will go home aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of normal time.

It was a disappointing conclusion to a night that had begun so promisingly for the home team. Ben Thornley might have put them ahead after two minutes but sliced his shot, and, four minutes later, Dean Gorre's cross floated so elusively it went over Neil Sullivan and bounced provocatively in front of an uncertain Clyde Wijnhard before the Wimbledon keeper cleared the ball off the line.

It was hardly against the run of play that Huddersfield took the lead five minutes before half-time. Thornley was enjoying himself thoroughly on the left and when he got into space for the umpteenth time Carl Cort tripped him. The cross from the former Manchester United winger floated over the big men in the middle and to the back post where Sellars side- footed in.

Walid Badir was desperately unfortunate not to equalise seconds before the interval when his header hit both posts before bouncing clear but Wimbledon did reach parity on the hour. Jon Dyson fouled Marcus Gayle and with the elements behind him, Kimble cracked a ferocious free-kick that was still rising as it flashed past Nico Vaesen 30 yards away.

As 90 minutes approached, the match reached a pitch of feverish activity that might have pushed either team over the line without the need for extra time. The McAlpine Stadium erupted with fury when the referee waved play on when Wijnhard appeared to be fouled by Dean Blackwell, but the indignant mood switched to relief seconds later, when Michael Hughes got a touch ahead of Vaesen only for the ball to bounce just wide of the post.

It was a portent of what would follow and after 100 minutes Kimble crossed and Euell headed in.

Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Vaesen; Jenkins, Monkou (Dyson, h-t), Gray, Vincent; Gorre, Irons, Beech (Sellars, 33), Thornley (Armstrong, 80); Wijnhard, Stewart. Substitutes not used: Margetson (gk), Edwards, Dyson.

Wimbledon (4-3-3): Sullivan; Cunningham, Blackwell, Thatcher, Kimble; Euell, Roberts, Badir (Andersen, 90); Cort, Leaburn (Hughes, 79), Gayle. Substitutes not used: Heald (gk), Willmott, Francis.

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).

Comments