AFC Wimbledon 2 Newport County 2

Back down to earth now. I get the impression the 48 hours we spent at the summit might just be the only time we spend there this season. Well we enjoyed it while it lasted I suppose. In fact we should really still be top, as this game encapsulated the Dons early season so far… after not really playing well they forced a few decent moves, and once again their most formidable opponent turned out to be the referee…

I mean it seemed like we didn’t do to badly out of referees towards the end of last season, but like buses we now had a whole load turn up at once. This one was particularly shocking. Although he probably got the first big call of the day correct when Sammy Moore had his legs taken from him, for Danny Kedwell to step up and bury the spot kick, the official seemed to doubt his own decision and look for any way to level up the game… and of course, as they are prone to, he went a little too far…

Yakubu was adjudged to have brought down his man for Newports penalty equalizer, only I’m not sure either player were actually in the penalty area when the non-offense took place. In fact it just seemed a completely normal challenge to me, yet somehow this guy managed to call it as a penalty. Sebb Brown went the right way, but couldn’t get a hand to the effort that was powerfully placed in the bottom right corner by Reid.

Yet it wasn’t just the penalty decision. Sam Hatton went in the book, a first offence but it was a bit of a lunge, we’ve seen them given in the past… this didn’t excuse him then cautioning our other full back (Andre Blackman) for having his shirt pulled, Christian Jolley saw yellow for seemingly being a bit too quick, and Danny Kedwell went into the book for, I don’t know, I think the ref must have closed his eyes for ten seconds and decided to caution the first player he saw when he opened them again… And that’s not even taking into account him seemingly forgetting that when a player passes back to his goalkeeper, and the goalkeeper picks the ball up, he should blow his whistle and award a free-kick…

Unfortunately we can’t blame the referee for the injury picked up by Brett Johnson after half an hour. Apparently its quite serious and will rule him out for three weeks, a massive blow as Johnson has quietly gone about proving himself to be one of the best centre halves in the Conference. With the arrival of Yakubu over the summer it looked as though the defensive partnership that will eventually take us to the Football League may have been formed – for all our midfield failings we need Johnson and Yakubu to give us a fighting chance, already one or the other has been called upon on many an occasion to calmly clear their lines after possession had been given up cheaply further up the field. I would imagine Ed Harris will step in, but we are fortunate we are back to Saturday fixtures for a few weeks, so Johnson stands a fighting chance of being fit for the Luton game.

Despite flying high in the early tables, the truth is Wimbledon have been just too inconsistent over the last few games. Had they played at Tamworth levels for at least half the game they would have won, regardless of officiating. I suppose we have been fortunate to meet a lesser calibre of opponents up to Newport, but during the second half it was more a case of hoping rather than expecting we would regain the lead…

There was a slight touch of fortune about our second goal, as Kedwell crossed deep for Christian Jolley, whose determination got a touch at the far post that somehow trickled past Thompson in the Newport goal. But still the Dons failed to take hold of the game, although they waited until the Dons fans smelled three points before self destructing.

Newport’s equalizer was a simple goal, really sloppy defending from Wimbledon. A long ball from the goalkeeper was flicked into Reid’s path, who guided his shot past Brown and into the net. This certainly woke up Franchise Deano on the Newport bench, who decided this would be a good time to start pointing and gesturing at the Kingston Road End. Obviously the greedy one got a lot of stick from us during the game, but it’s sickening to think he considers himself the victim in all this… Still, nice to know he cares, I can just imagine him staring at himself in the mirror sobbing ‘Why don’t the Wimbledon fans like me…’ over and over…

Overall, this should be considered two points dropped by the Dons. While this young squad should improve as the season goes along, surely it won’t be enough to compete with the big spenders to put together a promotion challenge?

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