Saturday, 29 December 2001
Nationwide League Division 1
Selhurst Park
Attendance: 6,051
Ref: Paul Armstrong
Neil Shipperley, Patrick Agyemang
2 (0) - (0) 0
Preston North End
David Lucas
Chris Lucketti
Colin Murdock
Graham Alexander
Rob Edwards
Yellow 52
Iain Anderson
Subbed 79
Lee Cartwright
Subbed 86
Paul McKenna
Mark Rankine
David Healy
Jon Macken
Subbed 69
Richard Cresswell
Sub ((17) 69)(17)
Tepi Moilanen
Adam Eaton
Sub ((31) 79)(31)
Steve Basham
Sub ((7) 86)(7)
Michael Keane

Neil Shipperley kept Wimbledon in the play-off chase as determined Preston's resistance was broken three minutes from time at Selhurst Park.

The visitors had looked like claiming a point after a dogged display before Shipperley struck and substitute Patrick Agyemang added a flattering second in injury time.

The Dons dominated the game but as time wore on, their chances of winning receded as Preston held firm.

Goalkeeper David Lucas kept his side in the game in the first half with two outstanding saves.

He dived low to his right to keep out a shot from Shipperley and then blocked with his feet as Neal Ardley found himself unmarked from 10 yards.

But aside from those incidents, Preston looked comfortable at the back, where Colin Murdock and Chris Lucketti kept a firm grip on the Wimbledon strikers.

The Dons got little reward from the long ball to Shipperley and David Connolly and looked better when playing through midfield.

Full-back Jermaine Darlington also lent some sparkle to Wimbledon's attack.

Preston clearly missed the influence of captain and playmaker Sean Gregan as they struggled to keep Wimbledon at bay at the start of the second half.

Every time their hard-pressed defenders cleared, the ball was quickly back as the Dons dominated in midfield.

Preston's strikeforce of Jon Macken and David Healy were left to chase hopeless causes.

Wimbledon should have gone in front when Lucas spilled a shot from Connolly, but full-back Graham Alexander made an important clearance as Kevin Cooper prepared to strike.

The deadlock was finally broken when Wimbledon won a late corner.

Ardley's kick ran through to full-back Darren Holloway whose shot deflected neatly into the path of Shipperley, who netted from close range.

Agyemang then rubbed salt into the wounds by turning in a cross from fellow substitute Jobi McAnuff in the dying seconds.