The picture's looking a lot rosier than it was a week ago after two wins and I think we can win again this afternoon. Wimbledon had a very big rough side last season and I doubt if they've changed their style much so we've got to be ready for a scrap. Things are starting to click into place for us now but looking at the highlights of Tuesday's match there were oceans of space in our defence at times that better teams would have punished. It was good to see O'Nien being involved in both of our goals and Grigg was coming in for a lot of praise in the later stages so maybe we're finally going to see him at his best. McNulty will miss the match again but I'm not expecting any other significant changes. Wimbledon have only managed one point from their first four games and I can't see them pulling off a shock but no doubt they'll manage a goal so my match prediction is a 2-1 win for us.
I got the team-news just after 2.00 and Hume was in for McLaughlin but that was the only change. I tuned into SAFSEE feeling upbeat and hoped the that feeling would last. We started brightly and our fans were in good voice though nothing of note happened until the seventh minute when the Wimbledon defence were half-asleep as the ball came over the top and Maguire was there to chip it over goalkeeper Trott to put us ahead. Wimbledon won the first corner of the game around the quarter-hour mark but we dealt with it well. We entered a sleepy spell where nothing much of note happened but Wimbledon weren't sounding much of a threat at any rate. I'd have felt happier if we'd got a second and then we forced two corners in a row a couple of minutes before the half-hour mark. We were putting more pressure on and a goal felt not far away. Ozturk's passing was earning praise from Gary Bennett and if he could make a few more like the one that set up Maguire's goal against Portsmouth, I wouldn't be complaining. Wimbledon equalized in the thirty-fourth minute when Appiah nodded in unopposed after finding some of the above-mentioned oceans of space. The commentators said we needed to pick the tempo up again and go for the jugular. There was applause in the thirty-eighth minute for one of our faithful Gary Sloane who died last week. We won a corner just afterwards but Wyke's header was too hard and bounced off the ground and up over the bar. Maybe it was the very sunny weather but this had sounded more like a cricket match at times so I hoped for more oomph very soon. We won a free-kick in the dying moments but Maguire's shot whistled past the right post. It remained 1-1 at the break.
I still thought that we'd win as we kicked off again. Wimbledon had already been wasting time so there was bound to be a lot more of that. We started off again with some zest and soon won a corner but it came to nothing. McGeady forced a good save out of Trott and we won another corner from which Maguire's low deflected shot from twenty yards went into the net to put us ahead again in the fifty-fourth minute. I hoped we wouldn't slow down again as we'd down after the first goal. It sounded like we had a third but Trott saved well from Wyke though I could see that third goal coming before long. Next thing Grigg came on for Gooch, who again hadn't made much impression on the game and the vibes between him and Ross didn't sound too friendly as he went straight down the tunnel. Wyke was garnering a good deal of praise from Barnes and Bennett for being much more combative than he was last season. Wimbledon were offering very little upfront while we were creating plenty of chances as we passed the hour-mark. Grigg somehow missed when a great pass from Hume found him in a perfect scoring position. Appiah was booked for chucking himself about in our box as our fans chanted, “Cheat!” McGeouch came on for Power who exchanged amicable gestures with Ross as he went off. The time was ticking away quickly but with just a one-goal lead I wasn't feeling too relaxed. I needn't have worried as Maguire headed in his third from an O'Nien cross and with around ten minutes left the result was surely in the bag. Shortly afterwards Maguire was subbed by Dobson and he received a great ovation as he took the slow route back to the tunnel. We continued to go for it and clocked up our tenth corner of the match. There were four added minutes but with an injury to McDonald that was stretched further till it finally ended 3-1.
So, another three points and a comfortable win in the end. Other results went our way this afternoon and we now find ourselves third in the league. Bring on Peterborough but tighten up that defence first.