AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 07, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton fired a blank for the second game in succession, as they registered back-to-back goalless draws for the first time since December 2014.

After being held by Accrington Stanley at the University of Bolton Stadium last time out, Wanderers never looked likely to hit the target at the Cherry Red Records Stadium and were fortunate to come up against opposition just as toothless in attack.

AFC Wimbledon hit the target just twice throughout the 90-plus minutes of action, whilst the visitors failed to trouble goalkeeper Joe Day all afternoon - registering no shots on target.

Keith Hill made two changes to the team that started the stalemate with Accrington last weekend, with Ethan Hamilton replacing Kean Bryan in midfield and Ryan Delaney drafted in for a first start against his former club in place of the injured Jack Hobbs.

The opening 45 minutes saw just one shot on target, but the home side almost took the lead inside the first 60 seconds as Joe Pigott charged down a clearance from Remi Matthews, only to see the ball bounce narrowly wide of the empty net.

Wanderers' first chance arrived with seven minutes played, although Pigott made his presence felt at the other end this time with a superb block to deny Daryl Murphy what would surely have been a certain goal.

Dennis Politic saw a long-range strike blocked by a defender on 17 minutes as he looked to capitalise in a rebound from an Ali Crawford free-kick, before Crawford himself took aim with a shot that flashed just wide moments later.

Nesta Guinness-Walker brought Matthews into action for the first time with an effort from just inside the box at the midway point of the half, shortly before Luke O'Neill headed over the crossbar from a Callum Reilly corner.

The visitors had two opportunities to take a lead before the interval, with Daryl Murphy seeing a shot blocked before Politic had another attempt charged down by Mads Bech Sorensen as the teams went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes in personnel as the players returned for the second period, which began with Crawford shooting directly from the kick-off for Wanderers - with the ball landing on the roof of the net.

An enforced substitution was made just three minutes later as Josh Emmanuel came on for the injured Jason Lowe, after which chances remained at a premium.

Joe Dodoo was crowded out as he looked to get a shot away on 54 minutes, shortly before Scott Wagstaff saw an attempt of his own deflect away at the other end.

Wimbledon thought they had taken the lead when Kwesi Appiah put the ball in the net on the hour, but the referee's assistant had flagged for an offside which television replays proved to be marginal at best.

Terell Thomas put his body on the line to block an effort from Hamilton as Bolton looked to land a sucker punch at the other end, moments before O'Neill did the same to prevent Politic from slotting in on 65 minutes.

Politic was involved from the resulting corner, flicking on a cross from Crawford, with Daryl Murphy inches away from breaking the deadlock as he stretched to make the desired contact.

Substitute Adam Roscrow should have put the hosts ahead with 20 minutes to play, only to roll the ball wide from the edge of the box after taking advantage of a slip from Toto Nsiala.

Nsiala made amends for his mistake by sticking out a foot to deny Reilly from the next attack, after which neither side really threatened in the final third.

Politic and Dodoo both struggled to find a way past Day in the Wimbledon goal, while Jack Rudoni and Mads Sorensen both failed to hit the target for the Dons.

Thomas headed over from a corner in the final minute of stoppage time, as referee Marc Edwards called time on an uneventful afternoon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

The draw leaves Bolton 22 points from safety at the bottom of the League One table and their relegation could be confirmed in as little as two weeks' time, when they travel to Southend United.

Next up for Hill's side is a trip to Burton Albion this coming Tuesday.

AFC Wimbledon: Day, O'Neill, Thomas, Bech Sorensen, Wagstaff, McLoughlin, Hartigan, Reilly (Rudoni 73), Guinness-Walker, Appiah (Roscrow 66), Pigott
Subs Not Used: Trott, McDonald, Pinnock, Lamy, Sanders

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Fleming, Delaney, Nsiala, Lowe (Emmanuel 48), Hamilton, L Murphy, Crawford (Darcy 68), Politic, Dodoo, D Murphy (Georgiou 76)
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Bunney, Faal, Brockbank

Referee: Marc Edwards
Attendance: 4,804

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone