Nothing un-four-tunate about Dons' inept defensive showing

Much to do: Dons boss Neal Ardley

Much to do: Dons boss Neal Ardley

First published in Sport Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

AFC Wimbledon’s shambolic defence were left in tatters by a confident Southend side that left Kingsmeadow with a comprehensive 4-0 win.

In driving rain, the Dons were their own worst enemy gifting the visitors two simple goals in the second half to settle this League Two clash.

Boss Neal Ardley had made two changes from the side which laboured to take a point off fellow strugglers Aldershot, with George Francomb and Jim Fenlon coming in for Steven Gregory and Charlie Strutton.

The Dons started brightly and enjoyed the opening chances – loanee Jake Reeves scraped the cross bar from 25 yards and Jim Fenlon fired wide from the same distance.

However, despite their domination of possession – Southend did not test Neil Sullivan until past the half-hour – it was the visitors from Essex who went into the break with the advantage.

Paul Smith’s long clearance was flicked on to Gavin Tomlin who finished low across Sullivan from the edge of the penalty area, giving the keeper no chance.

Ardley brought on Strutton for Byron Harrison at the break – but it made little difference.

A Southend corner delivered to the far post was headed home by Ryan Cresswell after he out-muscled Will Antwi all too easily.

Moments later it should have been 3-0 when a Southend break saw four strikers bearing down on Sullivan, and only Kevan Hurst’s greed and tame shot delayed the inevitable.

That came when Tomlin was given the freedom of the Dons penalty area to nod Mark Phillips’ free-kick past the helpless Sullivan.

The final nail in the coffin came with three minutes to go, Barry Corr making the most of more slack defending from a corner to drill home.

More to follow.

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