Published: 20:15, 23 February 2021
| Updated: 22:53, 23 February 2021
Gillingham were beaten at AFC Wimbledon after conceding a goal a minute from time.
A super strike from distance by Jack Rudoni won it for the Dons in a match where the Gills had struggled first half before taking charge in the second. Despite that, in a game that lacked quality, the game was settled with a stunner.
Gillingham boss Steve Evans made three changes to the team which started the weekend game against Bristol Rovers - one which took them until the second half to really come alive. Vadaine Oliver, Robbie McKenzie and Tommy O’Connor all won a place back in the side.
It was Gillingham’s first visit to Wimbledon’s new Plough Lane ground, a venue which hadn’t brought the Dons much success this season, boasting just two wins from 11 league encounters before Tuesday’s match. Overlooked by half-built apartment blocks and towering cranes, Plough Lane was nestled in the middle of a building site.
The Gills struggled to show any real quality in the opening half and the best of the chances went to the Dons.
Ethan Chislett fired over a great chance on the half hour mark, from just a few yards out, when Robbie Cundy’s block dropped to the Wimbledon man.
Gillingham had only a couple of half chances, a shot in that box from Cundy that keeper Sam Walker got a hand to and chances from Oliver and Connor Ogilvie that were both headed wide of the mark.
Just before the interval the Dons had a super chance to open the scores when Ryan Longman got between Ryan Jackson and Kyle Dempsey before a low curling effort destined for the bottom corner before Jack Bonham stuck out a hand to make the save.
Graham was one of two subs at the break and within seconds he had a shot at goal after Jackson’s long throw was cleared into his path. Walker saved and the home side were able to clear. Moments later Cundy nodded a Graham cross wide.
Gillingham were a much better team second half and had the Dons camped in by the hour mark.
Oliver poked a shot wide with 20 minutes left and despite the improvements the Gills still struggled to test the home keeper.
Gillingham had a couple of penalty appeals turned down late in the game, with Akinde going down in the box before claims Alex Woodyard had handled the ball.
Wimbledon struck a massive blow for the Gills with a minute left, Rudoni picking his spot from 25 yards to clinch the win, a shot that Bonham was unable to keep out.
Wimbledon: Walker, Woodyard, Nightingale, Chislett (McLoughlin 82mins), Rudoni, Guinness-Walker, Heneghan, Dobson, Johnson, Longman (Osew 90mins), Pigott. Subs not used: Tzanev, O'Neill, Csoka, Alexander, Oksanen.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, Cundy, Tucker, Dempsey, Lee (Graham), O’Connor (Johnson 84mins), McKenzie (O’Keefe 46mins), Akinde, Oliver. Subs not used: Bastien, Morton, Willock, MacDonald.
Referee: Paul Howard