AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Ipswich Town: It's Burns Night as winger inspires win

Wes Burns celebrates scoring during the second half at AFC Wimbledon

Wes Burns celebrates scoring during the second half at AFC Wimbledon - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Wes Burns’ proved the difference as Ipswich Town made it four wins from five under Kieran McKenna, with success at AFC Wimbledon. 

On the day Scotland celebrates Burns Night, the Welshman kept a cool head to twice fire home from the edge of the box to complete the victory at Plough Lane, as the Blues continue to build momentum under their new boss. 

Ipswich had the better of the first half and never looked like conceding, while not carrying a true goal threat of their own on a night where top scorer Macauley Bonne dropped to the bench. 

But Burns netted with what was the visitors’ first serious effort on goal and, from there, they saw the game out before sealing success through the wide-man's second. 

Wes Burns celebrates scoring during the second half at AFC Wimbledon

Wes Burns celebrates scoring during the second half at AFC Wimbledon - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

There were scares along the way, with McKenna’s side needing to see out a turbulent period at the start of the second period, which saw Luke Woolfenden clear a goal-bound effort onto his own post, before it bounced clear. 

Town ended the game with 10 men, after Kane Vincent-Young was sent off after picking up two late yellow cards, including one for taking a throw in in the wrong place, but the three points ultimately return to Suffolk.

McKenna’s men move up to eighth in League One and are five points off the final play-off place, heading into Saturday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday. 

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Town were dealt a blow in the hours leading up to kick-off, with the news Sam Morsy will serve a four-game ban due to his violent conduct charge emanating from the Blues’ victory over Accrington Stanley. 

Tyreeq Bakinson came in for his first Ipswich start in his place, with Tom Carroll retaining a starting spot as Lee Evans once again missed out, having limped out of the warm-up in the lead up to the Accrington win. 

McKenna also opted to change his entire front three, with Bersant Celina, Conor Chaplin and Macauley Bonne making way for Sone Aluko, James Norwood and Kayden Jackson. The latter was making his first league start since April of 2021. 

Town had a couple of early worries as they dealt with high balls at the back, before Paul Osew had the game’s first attempt for the hosts but fired high over the bar at the end housing the traveling Ipswich supporters. 

The early stages were a little cagey, but Town came alive from the 15-minute mark, attacking down their right flank and forcing Wimbledon into a succession of clearances from low crosses. 

Those moments were few and far between, though, with neither side able to create anything of note from their limited spells of possession, before Bakinson saw a well-hit shot blocked en route to goal.  

The midfielder picked a few nice passes, including one through for Norwood, before hitting the deck inside the box as he looked to beat Dan Csoka to the ball. The referee waved away the penalty appeals. 

Wes Burns scores during the second half at AFC Wimbledon

Wes Burns scores during the second half at AFC Wimbledon - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Wimbledon striker Aaron Cosgrove hit the inside of Christian Walton’s left post with a driven shot from outside the box, as Town coughed up possession with a series of wayward lobbed passes, but the whistle had already gone after the Dons man had handled in his bid to control the ball. 

The two sides went to the dressing rooms level at the break, with neither looking like opening the scoring, but Ipswich having enjoyed the better of the play. 

The second period started with a major worry as Edmundson was adjudged to have brought down a charging Luke McCormick on the edge of the box, earning a yellow card, but there was a let-off when he took the free-kick himself but lashed his effort harmlessly over the top of the bar. 

Out of nowhere, Town’s goal was living a charmed life, never more so than when Woolfenden hacked the ball off the goal line and onto his own post, before a scramble ensued inside the penalty. Thankfully Town were able to thump it clear. 

After a few minutes of panic, Town got themselves on the front foot again, with Burns having another cross dug out before it reached the toe of Norwood, before the pair combined to produce the opening goal of the contest. 

The move started with a Jackson run down the left, with the forward laying the ball inside for Norwood, who rolled a man and laid it into the path of Burns. The Welshman did the rest with the driven finish we’ve come to expect. 

Conor Chaplin and Bersant Celina had been stripped and ready to come on as Burns’ shot hit the net but entered the fray a few minutes later, in place of Aluko and Jackson. 

McCormick fired a warning shot, curling wide from outside the box, before Macauley Bonne came off the bench and played an inch-perfect cross-field ball which Burns gobbled up to fire home his second to complete the win. 

There was still time for Vincent-Young to be sent off, having picked up his second yellow card, but by then the points were secured.

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Tzanev, Osew, Heneghan, Csoka, Guinness-Walker, Marsh, McCormick (Mebude, 81), Chislett (Hartigan, 64), Rudoni, Assal, Cosgrave (Ablade, 66)

Subs: Oulah, Nightingale, Alexander, Tomas

Ipswich Town (3-4-1-2): Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson; Burns, Vincent-Young, Bakinson, Carroll; Aluko (Celina, 71); Jackson (Chaplin, 71), Norwood (Bonne, 81)

Subs: Holy, Burgess, Edwards, Pigott

Att: 8,117 (1,200 Ipswich fans)