A Charlie Wyke hat-trick sealed a 3-0 win for Sunderland and moved Lee Johnson’s men up he league a little to a more respectable position...
The lads got off to a perfect start as Wyke found the net early in the first half. Neither keeper had much to do in the game, but a late flurry of chances saw Wyke get two more and the match ball.
Sunderland made the first trip to Wimbledon’s new stadium, Plough Lane, with playoff places in their sights.
Johnson made three changes to the team that drew against Hull with Aiden O’Brien, Elliot Embleton and Jordan Willis replacing Jack Diamond, Dion Sanderson and Connor McLaughlin. New signing Carl Winchester was on the bench looking to make his debut.
Sunderland made the first trip to Wimbledon’s new stadium plough lane with promotion places in their sights.
Lee Johnson made three changes to the team that drew against Hull with Aiden O’Brien, Elliot Embleton and Jordan Willis replacing Jack Diamond, Dion Sanderson and Connor McLaughlin. New signing Carl Winchester was on the bench looking to make his debut.
With Sunderland’s first attack, the lads got off to the perfect stat seven minutes into the game. Elliot Embleton prodded it forward to O’Brien and squared it to Charlie Wyke to stab home for his eighth goal of the season.
Barring the goal, there hadn’t been any goalmouth action. It’d been a scrappy affair with Sunderland giving away some needless free kicks.
The hosts were having a couple of half-chances, and 20 minutes in Jack Rudoni had his effort from range parried wide – a few warning signs for the lads.
Half an hour into the match and it was a game of few chances with very few signs of quality. Sunderland will have been pleased to be ahead but were gifting the Dons possession on too many occasions.
Five minutes before the break, Sunderland struck their best move since the goal, Aiden McGeady and Max Power combined well down the right for Power to drill a low ball to Wyke who should have done better as he blazed over.
The hosts were the first to have an effort on goal as Nesta Guinness-Walker had an effort from long range which had Burge scrambling to his left, but his effort just flew past the post.
58 minutes in and Winchester made his debut for the lads as he replaced Embleton in the middle of the park.
Sunderland were struggling to create in the second period and get the attacking threats of McGeady Wyke, and O’Brien involved in the game.
Johnson attempted to inject some energy into the game and brought on Diamond for McGeady to try and stretch the Wimbledon backline.
Out of nothing, Sunderland sealed the three points with three minutes to play, Grant Leadbitter’s corner was met brilliantly by Wyke who smashed it past Sam Walker for his second.
Suddenly, the game had sprung into life as Joe Piggot on the half volley hammered it off the post and was desperately unlucky to see it go across the goal and to safety for the lads.
Down the other end on the break, Diamond hit the post! He drove at his man, and his effort across goal clipped the post.
Into injury time, Josh Scowen slipped a lovely ball through to Wyke, and one on one with the keeper he beautifully dinked it over Walker to seal his hat-trick.
There had been more chances in the final five or so minutes than in the previous 85 minutes of action. A bizarre but brilliant end to the game by the lads.
Full Time: AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Sunderland
ALS Man of The Match: Charlie Wyke
Sunderland: Burge; Power, Willis, Wright, McFadzean; Leadbitter, Scowen, McGeady (Diamond 72’), Embleton (Winchester 58’); O’Brien (Maguire 81’), Wyke
Subs not used: Matthews, Sanderson, Younger, O’Nien