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YOUNG REPORTER: WALSALL 3-1 AFC WIMBLEDON

8 August 2016

Chris Gwillam's match report...

As the glimmering sun shone over the turf at the Bescot Stadium, both teams were eager to start the 2016/17 season. 

During the summer players have exited the club but Jon Whitney as made excellent choices to bring a team together with the resources that were given. 

The Saddlers kicked off towards the loud AFC Wimbeldon fans, with attacking play for the first ten minutes. 

Then Simeon Jackson (9)- who was on his league debut for Walsall - ran through the Dons defence and was taken down for a free kick. 

Erhun Oztumer (10) took charge of the ball and free kick, he hit it and it flew onto the Dons post and into the net. 

There was nothing Dons' keeper, Clarke (26), could do to stop the ball. 

Oztumer celebrated his first goal of the season and the fans did to. 

Chances beckoned throughout the next ten minutes as Walsall looked for a second goal and it came in the chance of Jackson who was tackled by Dons' Paul Robinson (6), who was shown a yellow for his actions. 

Oztumer took the free kick that was passed around in the goal mouth by a number of Saddler players but eventually Jackson scored the goal. 

For the rest of the first half the ball was passed between the teams. 

4 minutes of injury time followed but nether side could cunjer up anything.

Half Time Walsall 2-0 AFC 

The second half started with AFC Wimbledon taking the possesion but no chances were taken. 

In the 61st minute The Saddlers made a substitution with Matt Preston (16) caming on for the injured James O'Connor (4) who had been going down consecutively since the break. 

Both sides were given a number of chances without any outcome. 

The Dons rolled the dice making a double change in the 67th minute with Dominic Poleon (10) being brought on for Tom Elliot (9) and Tyrone Barnett (23) coming on for Andy Barcham (17). 

2 minutes later Walsall brought on Amadou Bakayoko (20) for Oztumer. 

In the 71st minute Wimbeldon roled there final dice as Dean Parrett (18) came on for Chris Whelpdale (11). 

Within 60 seconds Bakayoko ran rings around the Dons' defence before putting an inch perfect cross through to Jackson who caught it on the end of his foot and poked it home. 

Another goal to the Saddlers!! Another substitution was made 3 minutes later by Walsall who brought on Franck Moussa (44) for Florent Cuveiler (8). 

Just before full time Rico Henry (3) brought down Dons' Lyle Taylor (33) and was awarded a consellation penalty as the foul was just inside the box. 

Taylor netted the chance and the 1049 Wimbledon fans rose to there feet. 

However 4796 home fans were still happy with the 3 points. 

Jon Whitney told the press afterwards that the whole team deserved some credit The Man of the Match went to Jackson who I think deserved it. 

Brilliant start to the new season, keep it up.

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