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League Two

Wilder thanks U's fans

3 October 2012

Oxford boss Chris Wilder saluted the supporters who sang his name, even when the U's were heading for a club record seventh straight defeat against AFC Wimbledon.

Second-half goals from Deane Smalley and Alfie Potter snatched a first victory since August out of the bag for United in a 3-2 home win over the Dons.

But even when the hosts trailed 2-1, the fans hadn't given up on the manager. Wilder said: "The crowd reaction was incredible, and unbelievable timing. It staggered and astounded me. When you are 2-1 down you expect things to be thrown at you, but they went the other way."

He added: "It certainly raised the players' spirits and gave us the platform to go on and win because in the last 15 minutes of the first half we started to go for it, and in the second half we then came strong and came good."

Wilder dropped his number one goalkeeper Ryan Clarke for a second successive match, but Clarke came off the bench when Wayne Brown was injured in the second half and made a crucial late save.

"It was a tough decision on the keeper," Wilder said, "But I just felt he needed to come out of the firing line because I honestly don't think he started the season off brilliantly, as a few haven't. But he pulled off a great save.

"It was a big night for us and the best performance we've had in terms of spirit and determination, from everybody - players and the supporters. The supporters gave the players a magnificent boost. We had to make three enforced substitutions because of more injuries but I think we deserved a bit of fortune out there for the whole-hearted, 100 per cent commitment we showed."

AFC Wimbledon look set to name their new manager by the weekend and caretaker boss Simon Bassey knows this might have been his last game in charge. He said: "If it is my last game, so be it. I've done the best I could. We've taken three points out of a possible nine, which isn't really good enough. We have to turn these performances into results.

"But we could easily have taken six points from the last two games, instead of none."

Goals from Byron Harrison and Jim Fenlon had seen the Dons come from 1-0 down to lead at half-time - only for the hosts to grab all three points with two goals after the break. Bassey added: "That summed our season up really. What matters is what you do in both boxes and we weren't brave enough where it matters."

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