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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Ollie Palmer nets twice to help AFC Wimbledon to 3-2 win over Crewe as Rudoni impresses






AFC Wimbledon came from behind to defeat Crewe Alexandra 3-2 in a relegation six-pointer at Plough Lane.


But Dons had to work hard for their three points. Mark Robinson’s men were caught out with a long ball into space which Christ Long put away after less than 11 minutes.


Jack Rudoni then guided his side to a victory with a headed goal and assist for Ollie Palmer, with the latter also converting a penalty to give Dons a two-goal advantage going into half-time.


But Crewe kept Wimbledon at bay after the restart and were not resigned to their fate. Chris Porter set up a grandstand finale when he got one back in the 89th minute. And with six minutes added on, Dons fans feared the worst but Crewe fluffed their lines as Dons opened up a four-point gap with one game in hand on fourth-from-bottom Shrewsbury Town.


But Dons’ deserved victory was marred by Ayoub Assal’s dismissal deep into stoppage time for a late challenge on Williams.


Crewe Alexandra raced into a shock 11th minute lead when Long ran in behind a Wimbledon defender before drilling an angled effort in off the post.


The crowed was stunned as the goal came out nowhere. But it clearly served as a wake-up call and Dons started to crank up the pressure afterwards.


And it was the compelling Rudoni who was the driving force behind Wimbledon’s revival. The young Englishman first showcased his ability as a goalscorer and and then as a creator.


The 20-year old nodded home from a corner to level the count for his side. But Crewe goalkeeper Dave Richards was at fault for the equaliser as he failed to keep a saveable header out by shockingly parrying it into his own net.


After 32 minutes the dynamic Rudoni then saw a goal-bound effort blocked but it did not last long before Wimbledon finally got their noses in front.


And it was again Rudoni who lit up Plough Lane as he was involved once more in a Wimbledon goal after squaring the ball for Ollie Palmer to tap home Wimbledon’s second.


The error-prone goalkeeper played a big part in yet another Wimbledon goal as he parried Luke McCornick’s first-time shot into a dangerous area, allowing Rudoni and Palmer to combine and do further damage.


Crewe were now being opened up too easily as Wimbledon banked on their technical superiority in the final third to increase the lead.


Rudoni flicked a corner wide before Assal won a penalty which he would have liked to take himself but Palmer ruthlessly snatched the ball away from his young teammate to slot home Wimbledon’s third.


The 29-year-old striker then had numerous chances to complete his hat-trick. But he first blasted a shot across the face of goal from a tight angle before his net-bound header was smothered by Richards, who was making amends for his appalling first-time display.


And he proved to be insuperable in the second period by also denying Rudoni with a fine low save minutes later.


Crewe’s bid to half the deficit and find a route back into the game was dealt a blow when Nik Tzanev made a fine save ton keep out Oliver Finney’s low drive after the hour-mark.


Richards then pulled off a great reflex to deny Alex Woodyard a goal which would have put the game to bed.


And the midfielder's miss could have come back to haunt Dons as the visitors broke forward at high-speed to reduce the arrears with one minute to go thanks to Chris Porter.


But Wimbledon hung in to secure their win and climb out of the chilly regions for now.



Line-ups AFC WIMBLEDON


1 Nik Tzanev- 3 San Csoka- 4 Alex Woodyard- 8 Anthony Hartigan- 9 Ollie Palmer- 10 Ayoub Assal-12 Jack Rudoni- 18 Nesta Guinness-Walker-21 Luke McCormick- 22 Ben Heneghan- 37 Paul Osew


Came In: 2 Henry Lawrence, 6 George Marsh,19 Aaron Pressley


Crewe Alexandra


31 Dave Richards- 3 Rio Adebisi-5 Terell Thomas- 7 Christopher Long- 8 Tom Lowery- 9 Chris Porter- 16 Luke Murphy- 17 Madger Gomes- 22 Billy Sass-Davies- 28 Zac Williams- 36 Scott Kashket


Came in: Oliver Finney, 15 Callum McFadzean, 18 Regan Griffiths

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