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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Wimbledon 2-0 Crewe
Wimbledon's Neil Shipperley celebrates after scoring the first goal in their 2-0 win
Neil Shipperley celebrates his Selhurst Park opener
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Wimbledon kept their First Division play-off hopes alive with a convincing victory over relegation-threatened Crewe at Selhurst Park.

After dominating the first half, former Chelsea striker Neil Shipperley opened the scoring in the 58th minute with a powerful close-range header following good work from Darren Holloway.

  Key moments
7 mins: Bankole saves from Shipperley
30 mins: Trond Andersen heads against the bar
58 mins: Shipperley heads home the opening goal
68 mins: McAnuff drills home the second

The Dons doubled their advantage in the 68th minute when Joel McAnuff drilled a crisp effort into the bottom left-hand corner.

Crewe goalkeeper Ademole Bankole produced a string of top-class saves during the game, but he was unable to stop Terry Burton's side securing the win and climbing to eighth place in the table.

It was Wimbledon who created the first real chance of the game in the seventh minute when Shipperley's well-struck shot was saved by Bankole.

The Alex shot-stopper rescued his side again three minutes later when he somehow parried Adam Nowland's close-range shot.

Bankole saves again

Neal Ardley, who scored the winner against Sheffield United, also tested the Nigeria-born keeper with a crisp 25-yard drive.

Dario Gradi's side found it difficult to break out of their own half as Ardley pulled the strings in midfield.

The 29-year-old whipped over a corner in the 20th minute and McAnuff got a touch on the ball - but Bankole was again in the right place at the right time to deny the Dons.

Wimbledon must have been thinking their luck was out when Trond Andersen powered a header against the woodwork in the 30th minute.

Wimbledon's Neil Shipperley (left) and Neil Charnock of Crewe in an aerial duel
Shipperley and Charnock battle in the air

Rob Hulse relieved some of the pressure on the visitors defence when he forced a fine 40th-minute save from Kelvin Davis.

And the home keeper was called into action again less than minute later to deny highly-rated striker Dean Ashton.

In the second half Andersen fired a 20-yard shot over the crossbar - but the hosts were finally rewarded soon after.

Holloway curled over a cross from the right and Shipperley powered home a header from close range.

Bankole then denied Holloway and Shipperley in successive minutes before McAnuff drilled home the second from 20 yards.

Crewe looked deflated after the double setback as Wimbledon went in search of a third goal.

Andersen and Shipperley both squandered good opportunities but Burton will have been delighted with his side's impressive performance.


Wimbledon: Davis, Holloway, Cunningham, Hawkins, Willmott, Ardley, Andersen, McAnuff, Morgan, Nowland, Shipperley. Subs: Francis, Agyemang, Feuer, Karlsson, Leigertwood.

Crewe: Bankole, Foster, Macauley, Walton, Wright, Charnock, Sorvel, Whalley, Lunt, Ashton, Hulse. Subs: Smith, Little, Tait, Ince, Steve Jones.

Referee: B Jordan (Tring)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"Wimbledon are in form at just the right time"
Wimbledon stand-in manager Stuart Murdoch
"We now need to win three games"
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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