Hughes hits winner as U's defeat Dons
Liam Hughes scored a close-range winner as Cambridge United came from a goal down to defeat AFC Wimbledon.
Things looked bleak for the U’s when Matt Tubbs put the Dons in front after 18 seconds, but Richard Money’s men levelled 11 minutes later thanks to a fine finish from Kwesi Appiah. Then in the second half Hughes converted a free kick from Sullay Kaikai to register his first goal since last year’s play-off final and secure the points.
United had two debutants in their line-up, with Sullay Kaikai and Jordan Chiedozie coming into the side as Luke Chadwick and Matty Blair made way. Up front there was also a change, Ryan Bird partnering Appiah at the expense of Robbie Simpson, who was among the substitutes.
And the U’s got off to the worst possible start, as straight from kick-off a ball through found Matt Tubbs, who beat Chris Dunn to the ball, rounded the keeper and slotted into the empty net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
But United hit back in the 12th minute, when Appiah found space outside the box and netted with a curling effort off the outside of his boot which found the bottom corner.
An end-to-end half saw Sean Rigg come close to making it 2-1, only to be denied by a decent save from Dunn, who had to stretch to get a hand on his effort. For the U’s, Appiah and Kaikai were the chief threats, with a couple of Kaikai free kicks flying just wide.
Just after the restart, the young debutant saw a shot deflect just wide, before he created the second goal with a curling free kick to the back post that was forced in by Hughes at close range.
Prior to that Adebayo Akinfenwa had missed the target from close range, but the Dons were unable to fashion any clear cut chances in the closing stages, and indeed United could have added to their lead, with Bird shooting just wide and Appiah nearly adding his second after good work from substitute Robbie Simpson.
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Smith (Kennedy 60), Moore, Barrett, Bennett, Rigg (Azeez 65), Bulman, Akinfenwa, Tubbs, Sutherland (Francomb 65). Subs not used: McDonnell, Goodman, Nicholson, Oakley.
Cambridge United: Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Nelson, Kaikai (Blair 63), Chiedozie (Chadwick 63), Champion, Hughes, Bird (Simpson 74), Appiah. Subs not used: Norris, Atkinson, Naylor, Cunnington.
Attendance: 4,306 (away 827)