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Johnnie Jackson believes Wimbledon let Morecambe ‘off the hook’ in draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson felt his side let Morecambe “off the hook” in their 1-1 draw at Plough Lane.

The Dons took the lead early in the second half through Omar Bugiel but Chris Stokes’ 74th-minute leveller earned a share of the spoils.

Both sides remain a point outside the play-off places in League Two, with Wimbledon in eighth and Morecambe 10th.

Jackson said: “I’ve seen enough of Morecambe to know that they can get results at places.

“They’re no mugs, they’re a tough opposition. To dominate like we did for the majority, I’m really pleased.

“We let them off the hook a little after we scored the goal, the game was there for the taking and we didn’t get that second, but that’s football.”

Wimbledon dominated the first half but the best opportunity fell to marauding Morecambe defender David Tutonda, who blazed Joel Senior’s low cross over the bar.

The Dons came out firing in the second half and their pressure told in the 50th minute when Bugiel fired home from close range after Josh Kelly flicked on Ronan Curtis’ cross.

Bugiel soon spurned a golden chance to double the lead and was left to rue the missed opportunity when Stokes poked home the visitors’ equaliser with 16 minutes remaining to steal a point.

“It was a good chance for Omar [Bugiel],” Jackson added. “I haven’t seen it again but it felt like he could’ve taken it the first time – that was my initial thought.

“If we got that second, the game would have been beyond them.

“When they survived that, it seemed to give them that bit of confidence. They got their goal out of nothing and that’s football.

“We’re still right in the mix, we’ve given ourselves a great chance with 14 games to go.

“As frustrated as we are at only getting a point, we’ve climbed two places in the league.”

Morecambe boss Ged Brannan heaped praise on his side’s resilient character despite his camp being struck by illness.

He said: “It was a great point in the end. I’m not making excuses but we had an illness right through the camp today and we were well off because of it.

“I thought the lads showed great character to get away with a point, we could’ve even sneaked it at the end as well.

“Obviously it wasn’t our best performance, but I am so delighted in the way the lads dug in together.

“We’ve got such a strong squad and the goals are spreading right through the team, which I don’t mind at all.

“If you get a point away from home in this league, it is really good – it keeps you up there with the rest of them.”

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