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Match Reports

AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Walsall

25 November 2017

Erhun Oztumer scored a trademark long-range goal as Walsall secured back-to-back league wins for the first time this season with victory at AFC Wimbledon.

The playmaker put the visitors ahead with a spectacular long-range strike before Amadou Bakayoko doubled the lead from Zeli Ismail's cut-back.

Lyle Taylor gave the Dons hope but Walsall held on to climb up to 13th in League One.

In a breathless encounter, the Saddlers went ahead with the game’s first meaningful attempt on 15 minutes.

Home keeper George Long’s poor clearance went straight to Oztumer, who took a touch before thundering a wonderful left-footed drive into the top corner from 30 yards.

Wimbledon pushed for an equalising goal, with Harry Forrester firing wide and Cody McDonald heading a corner straight at Walsall custodian Liam Roberts.

The visitors were looking comfortable and doubled the lead just past the half hour.

Zeli Ismail controlled Adam Chambers’ long ball on his chest, skinned his man superbly and accurately pulled the ball back for Amadou Bakayoko to squeeze an effort in off the far post.

But the two-goal advantage only lasted five minutes, McDonald skipping away from the otherwise excellent Kory Roberts and squaring for Lyle Taylor to sweep home and halve the Dons’ deficit.

Their tails up, the Wombles exerted a spell of incessant pressure on the Saddlers’ goal.

Jon Guthrie stood up well to deny McDonald, who then saw a downward header held by Liam Roberts.

Neal Ardley’s men started the second half as they ended the first – on the front foot.

Andy Barcham’s deflected cross dropped for McDonald but the striker got the ball caught under his feet, allowing the Saddlers to scramble clear.

Barcham and Jon Meades had shots blocked, Taylor drilled wide from 20 yards and Barry Fuller, leaning back, skied badly over from Taylor’s menacing cross.

The lively Taylor almost levelled on 66 minutes, brushing off Liam Kinsella before curling a right-footed effort a whisker over the bar.

After weathering the storm, Walsall had two quick-fire opportunities to put the game to bed.

Ismail wasted a two-on-two break with an over-hit pass and Kieron Morris saw a fierce strike parried by Long.

Wimbledon applied some pressure late on but the visitors saw the game out professionally to seal a second successive win.


Team: L Roberts, Kinsella, K Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy, Chambers, Ismail (Devlin 83’), Oztumer, Morris, Bakayoko (Flanagan 61’), T Roberts (Agyei 76’).

Subs not used: Gillespie, Donnellan, Kouhyar, Jackson.

Attendance: 4,130 (293 Walsall supporters).

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