Christian Jolley, Dons match winner
English Football League Two
AFC Wimbledon 3, Port Vale 2
AFC Wimbledon gained their first-ever home win in the Football League after a 95th minute goal against Port Vale at Kingsmeadow.
Christian Jolley was the hero, cutting inside two Vale defenders before curling the ball past Vale keeper Stuart Tomlinson and into the bottom corner to send Kingsmeadow into raptures.
Dons fans have been getting goalscoring value for money this season, and that was to continue in this five-goal thriller.
Yet Vale could, perhaps should, have been out of sight before Wimbledon opened the scoring. The away team’s striker, Ben Williamson, could have had a hat trick, twice having shots cleared off the line and once hitting the post with keeper Seb Brown beaten.
But impressive Dons debutant Kieran Djilali was tripped in the 38th minute by Vale keeper Tomlinson, and the Dons had a stonewall penalty. Luke Moore’s initial effort was parried by Tomlinson, but top-scorer Jack Midson was on hand to convert the follow-up.
Dons were lucky going into the break a goal up, but upped the tempo in the second half. This in spite of Vale equalising in the first minute after the restart when Louis Dodds curled the ball past the despairing Brown and in off the far post.
Wimbledon upped the tempo and in the 60th minute reaped their rewards when marauding full-back Gareth Gwillim found the ball in space on the left-hand side of the Vale area, and sent a pile driver to give Tomlinson absolutely no chance.
It was a striker’s finish, and had Wimbledon’s actual strikers done better, the Dons could have been out of sight.
With six minutes to go, a scrappy equaliser for Vale—against the run of play. Sam Morsy drove the ball through a crowded area and into the bottom corner.
On the balance of play, a draw would have been a fair result. But six minutes of injury time saw chances for both teams, before an expert ball from the Dons defence found Jolley in space, and the scene was set for him to be the new darling of Kingsmeadow.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, Wellard, Stuart, Johnson, Porter (Minshull), S Moore, Midson, L Moore (Jolley), Djalili (Yusseff)