AFC Wimbledon fell to a second successive late winner as Rotherham United can count themselves slightly fortunate to steal the points in the mid-table clash at Kingsmeadow.
The Dons dominated long periods of the second half but fell to a sucker punch from substitute Sam Hoskins as manager-less Rotherham picked up their third victory in four games.
In truth, Rotherham should have been out of sight by the end of the first half, such was the inept performance of the home team’s display. But their slender one-goal lead—gifted to them by a howler from Dons keeper Jack Turner, making his League Two debut—was cancelled out in the second half by a thumping shot from Luke Moore, who on another day could have had a hat trick.
Wimbledon did not get going at all in the first period, with Rotherham wasting numerous chances to take the lead. Turner had to pull off some good reaction stops to prevent efforts from the pacy Danny Schofield, while Alex Revell put header after header over the bar or the wrong side of the post.
Rotherham took the lead in the 34th minute, when good work from Revell presented midfielder Ben Pringle with some time and space 25 yards out. His tame effort should have been comfortably held by the rookie keeper, but it zipped across the Kingsmeadow surface and went painfully through Turner into the corner of the net.
Wimbledon, who had produced practically nothing in terms of their own creativity, made a double substitution at half time, with Chris Bush replacing the injured Brett Johnson in the centre of defence, while Christian Jolley came on for the disappointing Keiran Djalili on the right wing.
And the difference was immediately noticeable. The Dons, with ears clearly ringing from a half time rollicking from manager Terry Brown, were like a different team, putting in wave after wave of attacks. Two Rhys Taylor saves, from a Bush header and a Turner effort, were well worthy of leagues higher than League Two.
But Taylor was powerless to stop Luke Moore, played in by Midson, who had the time and space to sweetly execute a drive in off the far post.
From that moment the Dons looked the most likely to win the game, although Moore did have to clear off the line to stop a rare Rotherham attack.
The winner, in the 83rd minute, came moments after substitute Hoskins came on. The referee incorrectly gave a throw to Rotherham, but their quick take, and a slow start by Bush, saw Hoskins run half the length of the pitch to brilliantly strike past Turner into the top corner. It was Hoskins’ first goal in league football, and a fine way to finish a game that could easily have finished 4-4.
AFC Wimbledon: Turner, Hatton, Mitchel-King, Johnson (Bush), Gwillim, Yusseff (Knott) L Moore, Moncur, Midson, Wellard, Djalili (Jolley)
Attendance: 4,387 (368 from Rotherham)
Man of the match: Christian Jolley
Adam Harwood is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise stated, all quotes are received first hand.
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