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Match Reports

REPORT: AFC Wimbledon 2 Stanley 4

Pritchard double, Leigh and a Hills goal makes it four League Two wins on the bounce for the Reds

24 October 2023

Match Reports

REPORT: AFC Wimbledon 2 Stanley 4

Pritchard double, Leigh and a Hills goal makes it four League Two wins on the bounce for the Reds

24 October 2023

Joe Pritchard celebrated a double as Accrington Stanley made it four successive League Two wins – although Tommy Leigh’s 20-yard volley was the pick of the goals.

The Reds charged into a 3-0 lead and looked comfortable but AFC Wimbledon came back with two second half goals to make it a tense finish to the clash.

However Brad Hills struck seven minutes from time with his first senior goal to clinch another three points as the Reds moved into sixth place in the table.

Stanley were breathtaking and raced into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes.

On five minutes, Leigh found Josh Andrews in the area. The Birmingham loan striker’s shot was not held onto by Wimbledon keeper Alex Bass and Pritchard was there to pounce on the loose ball and prod it home.

A fantastic goal by Leigh made it two on nine minutes when he got the ball on the edge of the area with his back to goal and he turned and rifled it into the roof of the net, in off the underside of the crossbar.

Stanley were bossing possession and looked dangerous every time they went forward with Pritchard dragging another effort wide.

Wimbledon, with ex-Red Harry Pell in their starting XI, didn’t make inroads into the Stanley half until the 34th minutes when James Tilley’s fierce drive just needed a touch at the far post.

Their first shot on target came on 37 minutes from Pell but it was comfortable for Jon McCracken.

Stanley came close to a third on 42 minutes when Whalley’s high ball to the far post found Leigh rushing in but he just couldn’t find the target.

On the stroke of half time, McCracken kept out a header and Pritchard blocked a close range effort as Wimbledon came close to grabbing a goal back before the break.

Jack Nolan came on for Leigh at the break while Wimbledon made a triple substitution at the interval.

Stanley struck within the first 30 seconds with Rosaire Longelo’s strike pushed out by Bass to Pritchard who was there to celebrate his second of the game.

Wimbledon replied on 51 minutes when second half substitute Omar Bugiel got the ball in the area and stroked it home.

Pritchard looked for a hat-trick but couldn’t get power behind his shot while Seamus Conneely returned to the pitch on 65 minutes after being out since mid-September with an injury.

Unmarked Andrews headed into the arms of Bass as Stanley looked for a third but Wimbledon struck again on 70 minutes.

Tilley’s corner was into a crowded area and Bugiel got his second of the match.

It was end-to-end with Whalley bending an effort inches wide while Joe Lewis headed into the arms of the leaping McCracken.

Stanley made it safe on 83 minutes when a Pritchard free kick was perfect for Norwich loan defender Hills at the far post and the teenager headed home his first senior goal.

Longelo tried a spectacular strike from range near the end of normal time but it was just over the crossbar as Stanley celebrated four away trips without a loss.

 

Stanley: McCracken, Mellor, Hills, Rich-Baghuelou, Longelo, Whalley, B Woods, Martin (Conneely), Leigh (Nolan), Pritchard, Andrews

Subs: McIntyre, Shipley, Gubbins, J Woods, Adedoyin

Yellow: Rich-Baghuelou, Hills, Mellor


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