Dons settle for a point after an inspired performance by a goalkeeping Pirate
AFC Wimbledon secured another vital point towards safety with a 0-0 draw at home to fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Both sides knocked on the door but were unable to take their chances, leaving the Dons in 17th, six points above the League Two drop zone with five games to go.
The visitors may have felt aggrieved as two penalty shouts went unanswered, but it was Dons who shaded an entertaining match.
Dons made four changes from the 1-0 defeat away at Mansfield Town with Jack Midson, Peter Sweeney, Harry Pell and Kwesi Appiah – making his first start and home debut for the club – coming in for Alan Bennett, Charlie Wyke, Sammy Moore, who started a two-game ban, and Michael Collins who was recalled by Scunthorpe United during the week.
And it was the energy of the Appiah and Midson that caused Rovers problems early on.
Midson latched on to Pell’s floated ball forward, drove forward and beat the keeper on the edge of the box, got knocked, but stayed up to find three defenders in his way.
The forward took the ball onto his right foot but keeper Steve Mildenhall managed to recover in time to tip it wide.
Appiah then went close just before the break, striking just over, the ball skimming the top of the net, from a volley from the edge of the area.
With the hosts on top Darrell Clarke changed his Rovers side at the interval to match the Dons 4-4-2 system.
The change stemmed the flow briefly but it was still Dons who created the better openings.
Midson worked himself a shooting chance, letting fly from 20 yards but Mildenhall denied him again, this time tipping over.
Then came the two penalty shouts for Rovers as, on both occasions, Matt Harrold went down under pressure from Darren Jones, but the referee waved away the appeals.
Wimbledon have now failed to pick up a victory in three matches and with Northampton Town, Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers all winning the relegation battles goes on.
The Dons have five games to play, beginning on Saturday with a trip to Roots Hall to take on promotion-chasing Southend United.
AFC Wimbledon: Ross Worner, Barry Fuller, Tom Richards, Peter Sweeney (65 Kevin Sainte-Luce), Darren Jones, Will Antwi, Aaron Morris, Harry Pell, Kwesi Appiah (65 Danny Hylton), Jack Midson (85 Charlie Wyke), George Francomb.
Subs: Chris Arthur, Seb Brown, Luke Moore, Jake Nicholson.
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