DCSIMG

Akinfenwa spot on as Northampton Town claim draw at AFC Wimbledon

MAN ON THE SPOT - Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates with Lewis Hornby after scoring the Cobblers equaliser at Wimbledon (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

MAN ON THE SPOT - Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates with Lewis Hornby after scoring the Cobblers equaliser at Wimbledon (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

 

Adebayo Akinfenwa scored his 17th goal of the season as the Cobblers came back to take a point from a draw at AFC Wimbledon.

Akinfenwa scored from the penalty spot after Roy O’Donovan was fouled by Dons keeper Neil Sullivan to cancel out Alan Bennett’s header earlier in the game.

The point is a valuable one for the team, who started without four of the players that began the 2-1 win at Southend on Saturday, and they are now up to sixth in npower League Two.

Town are three points off the top three now though, thanks to Rotherham’s win at Bristol Rovers, and their game in hand is now consumed.

After a delay due to a pre-match power failure, it was Wimbledon who started the game the stronger side, enjoying a prolonged spell of possession only punctuated by the odd Northampton counter-attack and set-piece.

One such dead ball saw Tozer launch the throw into the box for Akinfenwa to flick on and Clarke Carlisle, restored to the side after illness, seeing his shot blocked at close range.

Lee Collins endured a mixed start to the night, fouling Toby Ajala after being well beaten down the wing but then making an acrobatic clearance to deny Gary Alexander what would have been a tap-in from the resulting free-kick.

Kelvin Langmead was then required to produce another block on an Alexander shot as the hosts’ confidence grew and their persistence paid off with the opening goal.

From the corner, Alan Bennett got a run on his marker and swooped to head home through a posse of covering players.

The response was an interesting one, with Joe Widdowson leaving a foot in on his man in a move that betrayed his usual cool head and antagonised the home side, and Lewis Hornby flashing a volley wide as Town enjoyed some better territory.

Langmead then slipped Tozer in down the inside-right channel but his shot was a high one when he should have fired across the keeper and it sailed harmlessly into the crowd.

The second half continued in much the same vain, Akinfenwa skimming a header just wide of the back post from a Tozer through as the set-piece continued to look their best route back into the game.

Lee Nicholls produced an excellent save to deny Ajala at the end of a brisk counter-attack down the Wimbledon left but the single-goal advantage is always a slender one and so it proved.

A ball over the top was glanced into O’Donovan’s path by the substitute Clive Platt, he nodded it round Neil Sullivan and felt the full force of the goalkeeper, referee Fred Graham pointing to the spot.

The ever-reliable Akinfenwa sent Sullivan the wrong way from 12 yards to secure a point that almost became all three in stoppage time at the end of the game.

Substitute Chris Hackett looked offside as he burst in behind but his eventual shot was saved by the legs of Sullivan and Platt hit a covering defender on the line with his follow-up effort.

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Meades, Bennett, Balkestein, Hussey, Sweeney, L Moore, Pell, Ajala, Midson, Alexander

Subs: S Moore (Sweeney 15), Sainte-Luce (for L Moore 82)

Not used: Mitchel-King, Jaimez-Ruiz, Long, Sainte-Luce, Strutton, Yussuff

Cobblers: Nicholls, Johnson, Langmead, Carlisle, Collins, Demontagnac, Tozer, Hornby, Widdowson, O’Donovan, Akinfenwa

Subs: Hackett (Collins 62), Platt (Demontagnac 72), Robinson (O’Donovan 81)

Not used: Guttridge, Snedker, Harding, Oyeleke

Attendance: 4,129

Cobblers fans: 429

Referee: Fred Graham

 

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