Report: AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Southend
Cauley Woodrow came off the bench to hand Blues all three points with a 1-0 Boxing Day win at ten-man AFC Wimbledon.
George Francomb was sent off in a feisty first-half for the hosts that saw very little in the way of clear cut chances, other than Will Atkinson’s solo effort that went just wide.
Despite the man advantage for the second-half, Phil Brown’s side found it difficult to break down the Dons’ defence.
That was until Woodrow came off the bench to power home a header for his fourth Southend United goal and to hand Blues all three points on the road.
There was just one change from the draw with Rochdale as Luke Prosser missed out due to the head injury sustained against the Dale. Mark Phillips was the man to replace him.
Phillips was involved in the action immediately when Francomb crossed well. The defender had to deal with it but his sliced clearance almost looped beyond Dan Bentley, but it went just wide.
Bentley then pulled off a terrific save just after the 15 minute mark to tip away Francomb’s curling effort that seemed destined for the top corner.
Blues then created their best chance of the game so far, with Atkinson driving forward from his own half, beating two men, before finding room for a shot.
Unfortunately for him and Blues, the midfielder scuffed shot slightly and dragged it wide of Ross Worner’s goal.
Kevan Hurst, with eight goals already to his name this season, went within inches of a ninth.
His volley from the edge of the box after the ball had broken into his path had Worner beaten, but it flew just past the post.
Blues were on top and after Sammy Moore and Charlie Sheringham had gone into the book for the hosts, John White almost scored his first senior goal.
The defender latched onto a loose ball and struck across it, but saw his goalbound effort tipped behind by Worner.
Five minutes before half-time and the hosts were reduced to ten-men. Francomb’s strong challenge on Rob Kiernan was deemed dangerous, and he was given his marching orders by the referee.
With the man advantage, Blues began the second-half well as Michael Timlin curled just wide from the edge of the box and then Barry Corr headed over.
Blues kept pressing but AFC Wimbledon were holding firm until substitute Woodrow found space in the box from White’s cross in the 76th minute.
The Fulham loanee leapt highest to head home his fourth goal for Blues and his second in the league this season.
That goal was enough to get Blues back to winning ways in the league ahead of the trip to Accrington Stanley on Sunday.
Blues: Bentley; White, Phillips, Kiernan, Coker; Atkinson, Leonard (Woodrow 59), Timlin; Hurst, Straker (Laird 82), Corr (Eastwood 70).
Subs not used: Smith, Payne, Thompson, Clifford