Wimbledon 1-0 Accrington: Tom Beere nets late winner for Dons
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 15/05/16 12:29pm
Tom Beere scored in the 93rd minute to give AFC Wimbledon a 1-0 win over Accrington in their League Two play-off clash.
Substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa cut the ball back for Beere, who had an initial shot blocked, before the ball rebounded back to him letting him strike a low shot into the bottom right hand corner for a dramatic winner.
It was Beere's first goal for the club and Neal Ardley's substitutions proved to be the difference in a close encounter at the Crown Ground, where both sides struggled to find enough space in attacking positions for long periods of the match.
Akinfenwa's physicality turned the game in the Dons' favour and he nearly scored himself in the 85th minute, only to see his short rattle off the post, but the pressure finally told minutes later.
Shay McCartan forced a fine save from Kelle Roos in the very final moments of the match, but Wimbledon held on, and now have a and a narrow advantage going into their League Two play-off second leg next Wednesday at the Crown Ground.
The Dons had finished 10 points behind their visitors and kicked off as underdogs, 28 years to the the day since the old Wimbledon's finest hour, the famous FA Cup final victory over mighty Liverpool.
And the spirit of the Crazy Gang seems to be alive and kicking as the current incarnation attempt to secure promotion to League One for the first time.
There was certainly a hint of old-style Wimbledon about their first chance in the sixth minute.
Tom Elliott got his head to a long clearance and Lyle Taylor latched onto the flick-on, but the 21-goal striker dragged his shot across goal and wide.
Elliott headed a Callum Kennedy free-kick narrowly wide, while left-back Kennedy's angled drive was well struck but just off target.
Accrington striker Billy Kee had a goal controversially ruled out at Kingsmeadow earlier this season after ref Trevor Kettle blew for half-time.
It was Kee who had the first sight of goal for the visitors midway through the first half but he glanced a Josh Windass cross wide.
Stanley were then awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area before half-time but Windass, the son of former Hull play-off hero Dean, lifted his shot narrowly over the crossbar.
After the break the lively Windass attempted to wriggle clear of the Dons backline but his touch was too heavy and all he received for his efforts was a painful collision with Kelle Roos.
Dons keeper Roos got down well to smother Kee's overhead kick and then did even better to touch a snap shot from Stanley sub Tarique Fosu onto a post.
A draw looked to be on the cards, before Beere, who has only just returned from a loan spell at Hampton & Richmond, emerged as an unlikely hero when he tucked the ball into back of the net.