SUTTON UNITED 0 AFC WIMBLEDON 0
Paul Doswell admitted there was a tinge of disappointment from his Sutton United players after almost adding AFC Wimbledon to the club’s FA Cup scalps.
Twenty-eight years to the day since the club famously knocked out Coventry City, Sutton almost took a shock first-half lead with Maxime Biamou clipping the crossbar.
Biamou then forced James Shea into a fingertip save on the hour mark after his 20-yard daisy-cutter looked destined for the bottom corner.
Wimbledon had a penalty appeal turned down late on as Barry Fuller tumbled under Bradley Hudson-Odoi’s challenge, before Paul Robinson saw his header expertly saved by Ross Worner in stoppage time.
Doswell said: “There was a sense of disappointment in the changing room because I think everyone was hoping for a last-minute winner or the bit of extra excitement.
“I’ve told them they couldn’t have done any more because we created enough chances, we worked our socks off and we restricted them to very little chances.
“I think we’ve done the National League justice.
“I thought we looked more like the League One side and that’s credit to us.
“Neal [Ardley] will be very pleased, he knew a lot about us and I think he gave us a fair amount of respect and we kept their danger men very quiet.
“I’m sure he will be breathing a sigh of relief.”
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley refused to blame Sutton’s artificial pitch but he believes the surface had an impact on his team’s performance.
Despite 48 places separating the sides before kick-off, Ardley admitted he was happy with a draw at the National League outfit as the Dons’ objective was to be in Monday’s cup draw.
Ardley said: “I’ve played on both surfaces and you really have to master this pitch.
“The ball runs faster and you can’t play through balls from too deep because they will run out.
“We tried to work on certain patterns to try get in but they marshalled us well.
“I never came here thinking it would be an easy game at all. I was very concerned about the pitch, I tried not to allude to that very much in the press, but I was.
“I knew it wouldn’t suit us and I knew we had to have a lot of qualities for us to be in the hat for the next round draw.
“That was our remit, we didn’t come for a draw, but we had to make sure that we were still in the hat come Monday night.”