AFC Wimbledon and Charlton Athletic played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in what was an at times pulsating London Derby as they both left Plough Lane with a share of the spoils.
Mark Robinson went for a change of personnel for the game, with the Wimbledon head coach bringing in Ayoub Assal for his first league start in yellow and blue whilst Jaakko Oksanen, Ben Heneghan, Luke O’Neill and Alex Woodyard came in for Darnell Johnson, Callum Reilly and Jack Rudoni, Nesta Guinness-Walker and Ollie Palmer as the changes were rung from the draw against Wigan Athletic in midweek.
Meanwhile Nigel Adkins named an unchanged team for the Addicks in what was his first game in charge of the club after he took over from Lee Bowyer at the helm of the club last Thursday, with Charlton seeking to make it six games in a row unbeaten after coming from behind to beat Bristol Rovers during the week.
There was an early injury blow for the visitors as Conor Washington had to be replaced by Diallang Jaiyesimi.
However the play-off chasers didn’t let that stunt their momentum as they took the lead just before the 15 minute mark as Jayden Stockley headed home at the near post after good work down the left by Liam Millar.
Despite falling behind early on, the Dons didn’t rest on their laurels as they levelled soon after, with Joe Pigott and Ryan Longman combining well in the penalty area before the latter finished with aplomb into the far corner past Ben Amos with his weaker foot.
The game then swung back in the favour of the away side as they retook the lead thanks to a goal from close range by Jaiyesimi after he was found in the penalty area after some poor defending from the Dons’ defence.
It was the least the Addicks deserved in truth as they cut through a disorganised Wimbledon backline at will, with Millar going closest with a shot that Nik Tzanev failed to hold at his near post.
Adkins could be heard telling his players to pass quickly when in possession of the ball and it was a command that they certainly adhered too as they recycled the ball forward well after winning it back on several occasions.
Both sides played the first 45 at a great tempo, however Robinson will have been disappointed by the manner in which his side conceded the two goals as both teams headed in at half time.
Moving into the second half and there were two chances for the Dons as Will Nightingale first went close with a header which lacked power after an initial corner wasn’t dealt with by Charlton, before Longman was once again involved as his fine run and cut back failed to be met by any of his teammates.
However the Brighton and Hove Albion loanee was to be involved heavily in the events that followed as the Dons levelled the scores once more following a disaster at the back for the Addicks.
A backpass by Akin Famewo left Amos in absolute no mans land following a simple goal kick, with the Wimbledon forward nipping in to tap home into the unguarded net for 2-2.
The home side then came mighty close to taking the lead for the first time in the contest as Pigott worked a yard of space before striking the post with a powerful effort.
There was then a great freekick from Pigott which was well matched by Amos in the Charlton goal as Wimbledon pushed hard for the win on home turf.
Then deep into stoppage time, Charlton had the chance to snatch it at the death as substitute Chuks Aneke hit the post, however the Dons just managed to scramble the ball clear to earn what could be a vital point in their fight to beat the drop.
In the end both managers will have been left feeling content with the point, however on another day more accurate finishing could’ve stolen all three for either team.
FULL TIME: AFC Wimbledon 2-2 Charlton Athletic