A solid home performance from AFC Wimbledon saw Mark Robinson’s men pick up their second win on the spin as they saw off a play-off chasing Ipswich Town side 3-0 at Plough Lane to give their survival hopes yet another boost.
There was one enforced change for the Dons as centre back Paul Kalambayi came in for his first start in the league since January in place of the suspended Ben Heneghan.
Whilst for the Tractor Boys there was three changes as Alan Judge, Josh Harrop and James Norwood came in for Teddy Bishop, Armando Dobra and Andre Dozzell.
It was the away side who had the first clear effort on goal as Flynn Downes drove forward well before laying the ball off for Aaron Drinan, with his resulting effort being comfortably saved by Nik Tzanev down to his right.
Then came the first effort of the game for the hosts as Joe Pigott saw his rasping left footed shot well saved by Tomas Holy in the Ipswich goal.
However Wimbledon weren’t to be denied as they took the lead almost straight after via the resulting corner, with Luke O’Neill whipping in for centre back Will Nightingale to power home his first goal of the season.
And it was 2-0 soon after as O’Neill was once again the provider, with the full back crossing brilliantly for Jack Rudoni to nod home from just inside the six yard box.
Ipswich’s game plan was being undone and things soon went from bad to worse for the East Anglian side as they were reduced to 10 men, with Harrop receiving a straight red card for a horrendously late challenge on Nesta Guinness-Walker.
Ayoub Assal was at his energetic best for the home side and he continued to toy with the Town defence at every opportunity, with the Moroccan youth international seeing a shot from point blank range saved easily by Holy as the Dons pushed for a third.
Progressing into the second half and it was so nearly three for the Dons, as Assal’s initial shot was saved well by Holy after he was put clean through by Guinness-Walker, before the resulting rebound was blocked well by Toto Nsiala on the line.
The Ipswich legs were beginning to look tired as we approached the final 20 minutes of the contest, with Wimbledon being more than happy to just keep possession and work their opponents.
However there was a good chance for the visitors against the run of play as Norwood cleared the crossbar with a header from close range after being found well at the back post, with the experienced frontman sure to have been frustrated with his resulting effort.
Wimbledon didn’t let that brief lapse phase them however, with substitutes Shane McLoughlin and Ryan Longman combining well for the Brighton and Hove Albion loanee to tap home from close range as the home side put the icing on the cake.
In the end it was an excellently executed, complete performance from the Dons as they followed up their weekend thumping of Accrington Stanley with plenty of gusto to keep themselves firmly above the relegation zone and in the process put another dent in Ipswich’s play-off hopes.
FULL TIME: AFC Wimbledon 3-0 Ipswich Town