AFC Wimbledon 2 Doncaster Rovers 0: Ten men slump to disappointing defeat at basement boys

AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers
AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers

Ten man Doncaster Rovers suffered a considerable blow to their play-off aspirations as they suffered a disappointing defeat at rock bottom AFC Wimbledon.

Rovers saw John Marquis sent off for two bookable offences with 40 minutes left to play.

And battling Wimbledon took advantage, going ahead through Steven Seddon before substitute Shane McLoughlin put the game beyond doubt in added time.

Though the numbers disadvantage certainly did not help, Rovers in truth were poor throughout the game and struggled to create much of note.

Rovers - with Matty Blair replacing Ali Crawford in a single change from the draw with Charlton - had started brightly, pushing forward quickly and forcing the hosts deeper and deeper.

It was reflected by the first opportunity when Marquis spotted a slack backpass and charged down goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, blocking the clearance and seeing the ball cannon behind.

What Rovers were soon lacking was a degree of quality to make their bright opening count and craft genuine opportunities.

It allowed Wimbledon to settle into a more comfortable groove, soaking up pressure and launching forward quickly.

Rovers continued to craft half chances with Mallik Wilks scuffing a header wide before turning provider only to see his square ball to a free Marquis cut out.

Wimbledon grew in stature and began to look the more threatening, particularly on the break.

Marosi was almost caught out after struggling to control a thumped passback from Paul Downing but contrived to win a foul.

Tony Sibbick drilled into the sidenetting after being played into a strong position.

Marquis was denied by a fine late tackle from Paul Kalambayi after being played through by Wilks as Rovers threatened late in the half.

Ali Crawford was introduced at the break in place of Aaron Lewis with Blair dropping into right back.

Rovers produced their best chance of the game early in the second half when Ben Whiteman lashed a volley which forced an acrobatic save from Ramsdale.

Then came the key moment in the game. Marquis, already booked for a needless tussle, tried to block Ramsdale's attempts to play quickly and was adjudged to have fouled, with referee Paul Marsden showing him a second yellow.

It gave Wimbledon a considerable boost and they pushed forward with Anthony Wordsworth firing over the bar before Michael Folivi headed wide.

But the hosts did find the breakthrough on 66 minutes.

Downing scuffed a headed clearance, with the ball dropping to Joe Pigott who sent Seddon scampering into space. Seddon then drilled beyond Marosi from 15 yards.

McCann threw on Alfie May and Tyler Smith in a bid to wrestle Rovers into the game.

But they struggled again for opportunities, with Butler heading well over the bar from a corner.

They did craft their best move of the game six minutes from time. Crawford slid a pass out to Coppinger who smashed a shot which Ramsdale tipped away.

May shot straight at Ramsdale on the turn as Rovers grew increasingly desperate.

But Wimbledon removed any doubt in added time.

Ben Whiteman almost turned into his own goal with Marosi palming away well, but the ball dropped to McLoughlin who slotted into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Ramsdale; Sibbick (McLoughlin 63), Kalambayi, Nightingale, Thomas, Seddon; Wagstaff (Barcham 64), Hartigan, Wordsworth; Pigott (Hanson 81), Folivi. Subs not used: McDonnell, Watson, Pinnock, Connolly.

ROVERS: Marosi; Lewis (Crawford 46), Downing, Butler, Andrew: Blair, Whiteman, Kane (Smith 68); Wilks (May 68), Marquis, Coppinger. Subs not used: Jones, Anderson, Rowe, Sadlier.

REFEREE: Paul Marsden (Lancashire)

ATTENDANCE: 4,203 (550 away)