The Wood drew 0-0 in their penultimate pre-season friendly, against a strong AFC Wimbledon outfit. 

The returning Morgan Ferrier came close for the hosts on a number of occasions but was unable to break the deadlock.  

Liam Trotter had perhaps the Dons’ best chance on goal, but was prevented by an excellent interception from Keiran Murtagh

Sorba Thomas was rewarded for his impressive performance against Slough Town, with a place in the Wood’s frontline. Danny Woodards returned at right-wing-back, while Manny Perry slotted into the back three.

On his return to the starting eleven, Ferrier powered his way past three defenders and into the penalty area, but Deji Oshilaja was able to nick the ball from his feet.

The Dons’ first effort came through summer signing Anthony Wordsworth, who blasted an effort from distance that Ryan Huddart palmed wide.

Angelo Balanta was also returned to the eleven and stung the hands of Joe McDonnell with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

Kwesi Appiah nicked the ball from Manny Parry at the back and was able to feed Trotter for a sight on goal, but Murtagh had tracked back and made a superb sliding intervention.

The Wood continued to match their opponents as Balanta kept the ball in play on the left by-line, he dragged it back for Femi Ilesanmi, but his laced strike was pushed away by McDonnell.

Balanta and Ferrier countered the visitors via a slick one two; the former slipped the ball around Mitchell Pinnock and released Ferrier through on McDonnell with a stunning through ball, but Tennai Watson managed to nick it wide.

Luke Garrard’s side had pinpointed through balls as the key to unlocking the Dons’ defence, and Woodards looped a gliding ball over the back four and onto the feet of Ferrier. The forward cut inside and teed off Balanta, but his effort was deflected into the hands of McDonnell.

The Wood were firmly on top against their more illustrious counterparts and Balanta was running the show in midfield. The attacker fed Ilesanmi down the left, who laid off Murtagh, but his curling shot sailed narrowly around the right-post.

Displaying the advantages of his height, Huddart charged off his line to claim Tyler Garrett’s cross and avoid any danger.

A Mitchell Pinnock corner was only headed clear as far Wordsworth, but his cracked effort sailed over.

Both sides enjoyed a quieter start to the second half, battling for possession in the centre of midfield. The home team’s first real chance of the second half fell to Jamal Fyfield, who met Shakes’ cross in the centre of the box, but could only head towards the ‘keeper.

A cheeky backheel from Balanta fed Murtagh down the right-side of the box, but he thumped his shot into the side-netting.

As the second half wore on, the Wood remained on top of the affair and some excellent play down the left, ended with a viscious strike from Murtagh, but it was deflected wide, narrowly avoiding the on-rushing Brad Ash.

Pennock had been Wimbledon’s brightest spark throughout the match and pulled off a smooth Maradona between two markers, before sliding the ball through the legs of Parry. The winger rushed forward, but his through ball to Kwesi Appiah was intercepted by Parry and Fyfield.

The Wood: Huddart, Woodards, Ilesanmi, Ricketts © (Shakes 62’), Parry, Champion, Ferrier (Jeffers 76’), Murtagh (Smith 79’), Fyfield, Thomas (Ash 62’), Balanta (Trialist 1 82’)

Subs not used: Burbidge

AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Watson, Kalambayi, Oshilaja, Garratt, Wordsworth. Trotter, Pinnock, Wagstaff, Appiah, Hanson

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