The Dons went down 2-0 to Cray Wanderers on a day when it seemed like a goal wouldn?t come if play had continued until Christmas.
Injuries forced Dave Anderson?s hands somewhat with regard to team selection, as even the majority of his subs bench weren?t match-fit. Julian Sills signed forms in the morning to complete a short-term loan from Staines and played alongside Micky Woolner and Jay Conroy in the back three. With Ryan Gray shrugging off a hamstring strain to start at wing-back, Wes Goggin stepped into midfield in place of the suspended Chris Gell, with Antony Howard forced into service at right wing-back as Steve Gibson was ruled out by food poisoning.
But a defensive mix-up allowed Cray to take an early lead. As Naisbitt could only palm a shot away, it cannoned back goalwards off a defender?s shin. Naisbitt clawed it away once more, but Miller pounced to hammer it into the roof of the net with just two minutes played.
The rest of the half belonged to the Dons in terms of both territory and possession, but they couldn?t find an equaliser. Randall had the best chances, forcing a good save from Northwood on one occasion, but also sending a shot over the bar after good work from Woolner and Howard. A Gareth Graham free-kick was flicked onto the post by the head of Jay Conroy.
The second half continued in the same vein, but for all their possession and corners Wimbledon could find no way through. Cray managed to block or head away most goalbound efforts and Northwood dominated his area well to collect through balls. With 20 minutes to go, the Dons were given a mountain to climb when Sam Wood sprinted down the left wing, eluded a Woolner tackle and sent a low shot past Naisbitt into the corner of the net.
Thereafter Cray clung on for a win that was not undeserved, but one which even their most ardent supporter would accept was against the run of play. Gary Prigent and Richard Butler joined Randall and Sheerin up front, but still a goal would just not come.
And so, after 78 record-breaking games, the Dons brought their unbeaten league run to a close. More importantly, players and staff were gutted to have emerged from a game they dominated with no points, and left Hayes Lane determined to bounce straight back against Molesey on Tuesday.