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  • By Yann Tear at Plough Lane

AFC Wimbledon snatch sensational last-gasp win as Coventry City are left stunned

Carabao Cup First Round

AFC Wimbledon (0) 2 Bugiel 87, McLean 90+2

Coventry City (1) 1 Godden pen 17

Two goals in five minutes at the death from subs Omar Bugiel and Ryan McLean gave the Dons an astonishing victory - and a vital shot in the arm for the season ahead.

With time running out, there had been little suggestion that the League Two side could get back on level terms against their Championship opponents but with the Sky Blues coasting on the back of a first half penalty from Matty Godden, the Dons struck in dramatic style.

City failed to deal with a cross from the left and a loose ball was swept in first time by a gleeful Bugiel, who had only been on the field seven minutes.

And two minutes into injury time, it was the turn of McLean to complete the incredible turnaround when he clipped in a cross from the right with a superb angled volley.

What a way to start the season.

There is quite the glam feel to AFC Wimbledon's opening week of action at Plough Lane.

The Wrexham circus comes to town at the weekend and by way of an appetiser, here was a little something for Dons fans to get their teeth into - a clash against a team which came within a whisker of promotion to the Premier League last season.

Having endured a miserable season last time out - the Dons finished only five points clear of relegated Hartlepool - boss Johnnie Jackson badly needs to see some early signs of encouragement and his team picked up a useful point in a 0-0 draw at Grimsby on the opening day of the campaign.

But this will be even better for morale.

They have much to do before they can feel a corner has been turned. They finished last season with one solitary win in their final 19 games of the 2022-23 edition. Yet the mood is bound to be elevated after this.

Eager to put on a show and to prove the two divisions between themselves and Coventry could be bridged, the Dons started brightly and a marauding run by Aron Sasu down the left carved open the Sky Blues' defence and ought to have been put away by James Tilley - who skewed wide.

But the visitors soon showed their extra class to seize the initiative and Godden - who had already forced Nik Tzanev into a flying save - buried a penalty that came their way after 17 minutes.

That was the result of a clumsy challenge from behind by Joe Lewis on Haji Wright, whose pace and sureness of touch spelt danger with every attack.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto's promptings were music to the ears for a generous gathering of away fans and their side looked on course for victory.

Tzanev was a busy man, and had a brilliant evening, saving well from Godden again and Gustavo Hamer, but it was by no means one-way traffic, as Tilley and Ali Al-Hamadi carried the fight. Lee Brown got forward to almost get on the end of Al-Hamadi's cross following a burst in from the right.

The sharpness went out of the game during a second half in which Coventry were increasingly happy to dominate by possession alone rather than goals, and they ultimately paid the price.

They almost added a second goal through sub Kasey Palmer's shot from outside the box, which Tzanev was again equal to, and the keeper was to make another fine save at the death to seal the win.

It capped the easiest man of the match award anyone will have to make all season. He epitomised the never-say-die attitude which brought its considerable reward late on.

Dons: (4-4-2) Tzanev - Ogundere, Lewis, Johnson, Brown - Tilley (McLean 84), Ball (Little 79), Reeves, Sasu (Neufville 64) - Al Hamadi (Davison 64), Pell (Bugiel 79)

Sky Blues (3-4-1-2) Collins - Howley (Palmer 68) Latibeaudiere, Binks - van Ewijk (Eccles 90), Hamer (Sheaf 57), Kelly, Bidwell - Sakamoto - Godden (Simms 68), Wright


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