Wimbledon bounced back from yesterday’s defeat to Southgate to secure their place in the Premier Division next season where, despite this defeat they will be joined by Sheffield Hallam.
Wimbledon started the brighter of the two sides, on more than one occasion they caught Hallam players in possession in key areas of the field and looked threatening once they had done so. Some early penalty corners had come to nothing when Tom Woods’ cross was turned in by John Kinder, continuing his rich vein of goalscoring form. Jamie Cachia in the Hallam goal made a good penalty corner save to keep out Ben Hawes as Wimbledon threatened to overrun their opponents.
Hallam’s best chance of the half came to David Goodfield, but his smart turn and shot was confidently dealt with by Tom Millington in goal.
Shortly after the halftime break Wimbledon doubled their lead. John Harris showed incredible skill to get along the baseline into the D, as the goalkeeper came out the Wimbledon No.16 got to the ball first bravely prodding it home before getting clattered by Cachia for good measure. Harris required treatment from the physio but was cleared to carry on.
Hallam enjoyed a good spell of pressure as Rhys Gowman tested Millington’s reflexes with a shot on the turn before Phil Roper, yesterday’s four-goal hero was unable to get the better of the Wimbledon No.1 from a penalty corner. Millington pulled off another penalty corner save, again from Roper and then got good distance on a clearance to snuff out the danger posed by David Goodfield.
Hallam finally got themselves on the board from yet another penalty corner. This time, Mike Shaw took the responsibility. His flick was right in the corner and had enough power to find the net despite a fine effort from Millington who managed to get a stick on the ball but could not keep it out.
Despite a late rally from Hallam, Wimbledon ran out the clock to confirm their place in the top flight next season. Hallam too will be there, by virtue of their superior goal difference over Cardiff and UWIC. As with previous years, the places went right down to the last game. You wouldn’t have it any other way.