Another disappointing home performance and our first Valley defeat of the season. In the end we can have no complaints but this was a game there for the taking. For me, Russell Slade's tactics were woefully short-sighted and far too conservative.
We started again with a very familiar line-up. Rudd, Fox, Pearce, Konsa and Solly at the back. Lookman started on the left, Crofts and Ulvestad in the centre-mid and Ricky Holmes on the right. Nicky Ajose and Josh Magennis lead the line. I like stability and had no issue with team selection. Jackson is too slow to warrant a starting berth and Lee Novak is probably our third-choice striker. The very large German must be itching to get on but Pearce and Konsa have been looking decent together.
Anyway, we started well enough, albeit with the first chance to the visitors , but we took the lead inside ten minutes. Lookman cut inside, shuffled, re-adjusted at pace to gain a yard and startled the Wombles by cracking another low shot into the near corner from 20 yards. Reminiscent of his late equaliser in the last home match. One-nil and for twenty minutes after that it looked like either a case of killing it off with a second or just how many? Lookman was denied a second by a fine save and we were creating chances relatively easily. However, there was a notable slow-down before half-time which was disappointing but no cause for alarm.
I fully expected us to come out firing on all cyclinders kicking towards the Covered End and to get the second goal which would finish it as a contest. We didn't. We looked content to defend and eventually invited Wimbledon forward. Ricky Holmes apart, there looked very little urgency to get forward and we raely committed more than a couple of men. Wimbledon began to create a few chances of their own and attacking our goal in front of a very healthy 2,000 following in the Jimmy Seed, they forced the equaliser in the 78th minute when Poleon cut in on our right, evaded two tackles and beat Rudd from close range.
Now was the time for a fight-back but it was half-hearted. Lacking conviction and leadership, we handed the initiative back to the Wombles and it was no surprise when lanky substitute Tyrone Barnet rose highest at the back of the Charlton box to head home the winner. Cue some anger in the home stands and a round of booing at the whistle.
The defeat sees us drop down a place to 14th and we sit four points below 6th and two above the drop zone. Our game in hand may come and go at Scunthorpe on Tuesday and then Russell Slade may have to earn his corn.
I joined the pre-match Protest Shirt photograph before the game and watched the match from the lower West. I was with friends but not a view I enjoyed, too low to the pitch and too much distraction from players warming up in front of us. Although I was far enough down to avoid seeing Katrien Meire chuckling her way through the performance or to spot her fat security guard. I am always tempted to forget myself when I see him.