Dons break away curse with thrilling win over York to Ardley’s delight

York City 2 AFC Wimbledon 3

Wimbledon claimed their first away league victory since August with a hard earned win over York City, in the sides’ third meeting in just over a month.

Milwall loanee Jake Goodman opened the scoring on his league debut in the 24th minute before the game exploded ten minutes after the re-start when Diego De Girolamo equalised with a fierce drive.

Seven minutes later, in-form winger Sean Rigg put the Dons back in-front, and in the 64th minute Matt Tubbs grabbed the winner thanks to a pin-point George Francomb cross, his third assist of the game.

With 15 minutes left to play, Stephane Zubar scrambled in a second goal for The Minstermen who forced Wimbledon into defending resolutely to make sure of the win.

“I knew York would be stronger than when we played them in the cup because they’ve signed players on loan,” said proud Dons boss Neal Ardley.

“The resilience that we showed when they threw everyone forward was fantastic.”

Ardley added that his players had done the club proud as they began to tire but fought for their lives to earn the three points.

Francomb’s crossing terrorised the York defence all afternoon and the opening goal arrived as 21-year-old centre back Goodman rose to meet the winger’s corner mid-way through the first half.

York responded by forcing Dons keeper James Shea into superb saves from Russell Penn and Wes Fletcher – Shea would have been please to settle the score with Fletcher who beat the former Arsenal youngster from 30 yards in the FA Cup second Round replay between the two sides.

After conceding disappointingly through De Girolamo from a short corner routine, Sean Rigg restored Wimbledon’s lead in the 62nd minute as the impressive Francomb squared across goal for Rigg to fire home following good work from Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Two minutes later League Two joint-top-scorer Matt Tubbs grabbed his tenth goal of the season as Francomb delivered a perfect ball that looped over on-loan Burnley goalkeeper Alex Cisak, falling to the former Bournemouth striker who finished with ease.

The Dons then dug deep as Stephane Zubar, brother of former Marseille and Derby County man Ronald, forced a scrappy goal past Shea and York pressed on for an equaliser.

This kind of performance is just what Ardley will be hoping for when his Dons side host five times Champions League winners Liverpool on January 5th, which the former Crazy Gang midfielder admitted was very much on his players’ minds.

He said: “It would be naïve to say that we’ve totally switched off from the FA cup draw with Liverpool – we all know what’s there.

“Mine and my staff’s jobs has been to get the players focused and we did that and we really revved them up before the game.”

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