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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 22:53 GMT
Brighton 2-3 Wimbledon

David Connolly struck twice, and Moritz Volz scored on his debut to give Wimbledon a comfortable Division One win against 10-man Brighton at the Withdean Stadium.

The Dons survived an early scare when Bobby Zamora forced a smart save from goalkeeper Kelvin Davis in the first couple of minutes.

But their relief was short-lived as Paul Brooker fired the Seagulls in front from the resulting corner.

Simon Rodger, in the side as a replacement for knee-injury victim Richard Carpenter, swung in a cross which was only half-cleared by Davis - and Brooker fired in his first goal since August to put the Seagulls ahead.

The home side endured a terrible 15-minute spell either side of the break.

First, Connolly netted his 15th goal of the season in only his 16th appearance when he headed home a 39th-minute equaliser at the far post from Gareth Ainsworth's right-wing cross.

Seconds before the break Brighton striker Gary Hart was dismissed for using an elbow.

After the restart Germany Under-20s defender Volz, who has signed a five-week loan deal from Arsenal, rifled home a 20-yard effort, which gave Dave Beasant no chance in the Brighton goal.

Dons striker Neil Shipperley was then adjudged to have been fouled in the box by home defender Danny Cullip after 53 minutes.

Shipperley dusted himself down to take the resulting penalty, but 43-year-old Beasant, making his home debut and facing his former club, made a comfortable save.

Brighton boss Steve Coppell threw on Dean Blackwell, Graham Barrett and John Piercy, but the visitors stretched their lead 11 minutes from time when Connolly slipped the ball under Beasant for his second goal.

Zamora ensured a tense finish four minutes from time when he was played in by substitute Barrett and slotted home his eighth goal of the season.


Brighton: Beasant, Mayo, Cullip, Pethick, Watson, Oatway, Rodger, Brooker, Jones, Zamora, Hart. Subs: Blackwell, Rogers, Packham, Barrett, Piercy.

Wimbledon: Davis, Reo-Coker, Volz, Leigertwood, Gier, Ainsworth, Francis, Darlington, Andersen, Shipperley, Connolly. Subs: Hawkins, Agyemang, Nowland, Gray, Gore.

Referee: J Ross (Essex).

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