Second-half Dons treble sinks Hawks in friendly

The Hawks' Craig Braham-Barrett in action against AFC Wimbledon Picture: Dave Haines
The Hawks' Craig Braham-Barrett in action against AFC Wimbledon Picture: Dave Haines
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The Hawks suffered a 3-0 defeat in their friendly fixture against League Two AFC Wimbledon at Westleigh Park.

Second-half goals from Rees Jones, Charlie Strutton and Kieran Djali gave the visitors a deserved win as Shaun Gale’s side attempted to get some valuable game time in before their Blue Square Bet South clash at Chelmsford on Saturday.

Wimbledon’s Rickie Wellard fired three efforts wide off the target in the early stages as the visitors started the brighter of the two teams.

The Hawks also posed a threat, but when Craig Braham-Barrett got to the byline, his final delivery was disappointing.

Wellard again went close for The Dons with a sliced shot that went wide of the far upright, after Perry Ryan was found guilty of giving the ball away.

Ten minutes before the break, the Hawks had their best spell and should have taken the lead when Ryan teed up Steve Ramsey inside the opposition penalty area.

The on-rushing midfielder, however, could only balloon his effort over the bar.

And almost immediately, Ollie Palmer sent in a fierce drive across the face of the Wimbledon goal that flashed past the far post.

Djali then skipped past three Hawks challenges on the byline before forcing a low save from keeper Lyall Beazely as a far-from-action-packed first-half ended goalless.

The second half started in the same low-key manner, until the visitors broke the deadlock five minutes in.

Beazely failed to hold Wellard’s low shot and Jones followed up to hammer the loose ball in from close range.

Keeper Beazely was soon in action again, cutting out substitute Christian Nanetti’s cross into the near post.

The Hawks, who rang the changes in the second half, threatened briefly when Sammy Igoe’s cross picked out substitute Alex Baldacchino.

But his downward header was mishandled by keeper Turner before it was cleared.

The Football League side then confirmed their superiority with two goals in as many minutes.

On 74 minutes, Strutton turned the ball in from a tight angle after keeper Beazely pushed away a low shot.

And from the re-start, the Hawks defence fell asleep and Djali ran through to easily tuck his shot past Beazely to give the visitors a deserved 3-0 win.