AFC Wimbledon v Walsall
Cherry Red Records Stadium
The Saddlers' search for a first away victory of 2017 continued as they were beat 1-0 by AFC Wimbledon.
Jon Whitney named an unchanged line-up following the victory over Peterborough United with Kieron Morris retaining his starting place. The home-side lined up with the towering Tom Elliott up-front.
The majority of the first half was defined by the poor quality of the pitch and both team's inability to sustain possession. Wimbledon sat deep for large periods of the half with long out-balls to Elliott and the pacey Lyle Taylor proving effective on occasions. It was Taylor who nearly opened the scoring for the Dons midway through the half as he couldn't connect with a dangerous cross from the left wing.
However, the Saddlers had the best chance of the half with Simeon Jackson failing to convert a one on one chance after being put through by Isaiah Osbourne. Towards the end of the first-half the Saddlers had a goal disallowed after a corner from the left was bundled into the net, but referee John Busby ruled there was a foul on Dons 'keeper James Shea.
The second half started in the same vein as the first with a cagey start as both teams struggled to deal with the tricky conditions. Wimbledon's physical advantage started to tell as the half grew on and a succession of crosses and set plays were defended well by the Saddlers.
The Wimbledon pressure finally told on the 68th minute as a long free-kick found its way to Lyle Taylor who at the second attempt fired past Neil Etheridge.
Jon Whitney made a change soon after Bakayoko replacing Matt Preston and the change nearly paid off as the front-man won a corner which James O'Connor should have converted from.
Scott Laird replaced Joe Edwards with time running out and the popular nearly grabbed the equaliser with a 25 yard volley which rattled the crossbar.
Elliott nearly made it 2-0 in the closing stages, forcing Ehteridge into a smart save at his near post. That was the end of the action though as the Saddlers slipped to a disappointing defeat in the capital.