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Adding to the agony

Two goal Robbie Earle helped Wimbledon to win 3-2 at Liverpool for the second successive season.

The injury-hit Merseysiders fought back after going two goals down in the first 27 minutes and were level at half-time, only for Earle to give the Dons victory after 76 minutes.

Wimbledon captain John Fashanu opened the scoring after 12 minutes, surging through to score with a low drive after exchanging passes with Andy Clarke.

Bruce Grobbelaar, back in Liverpool's goal in place of David James, produced one of his more eccentric moments after 27 minutes, coming out to punch a Justin Skinner free kick straight to Earle, who lobbed it over him into the empty net.

But Liverpool struck back eight minutes later, Jan Molby scoring a penalty after Earle brought down Ronnie Rosenthal.
After 39 minutes it was all square, Rosenthal scooping a shot onto the bar despite the strong challenge of John Scales, and Steve McManaman turning in the rebound.

But after 76 minutes Wimbledon grabbed their winner, Fashanu flipping his keeper's long clearance for Earle to force his way through and unleash a shot which Grobbelaar got a hand to but could not keep out.

After the break Liverpool rarely troubled Wimbledon, their best moment coming when Hans Segers had to pip Hutchison's drive over the bar. Grobbelaar's basketball style behind-the-back throw straight into the path of Vinny Jones almost brought the Zimbabwe international goalkeeper further blushes, but fortunately for him Jones drilled his shot right back into his hands.

Grobbelaar later warned that Liverpool will be "dead and buried" if they don't sort out their defensive problems quickly. Grobbelaar held himself partly to blame for two of the goals. The keeper questioned his punch for Robbie Earle's first goal but said: "I called for the ball and ran past about eight players and when the ball was lobbed back towards goal I was the first one back again. I'm questioning if we are all in it together - I don't know if we are. We've got to get it sorted out. We had better or we will be dead and buried. I got a hand to the ball for the last goal and you always question yourself as a goalkeeper if that happens."

Grobbelaar said there had been a lack of cooperation at the back and added: "The boss says the older, more experienced players are not helping the youngsters. The experienced players haven't been doing their job. The youngsters are showing us they have determination and fire. We have to show that fire too."

Earle said: "My first goal was something we worked on in training, trying to get Bruce to come out of the area and punch. But once the keeper comes out you get back on the goal-line and maybe he will be looking at a few of his defenders to do that. For the second time I came on a free run from midfield and he might look at a few people in front of him rather than behaving himself. It was a good win for us and a platform to go on from now. Vinny Jones has come in and half his job is to motivate people - he gets the best out of me and pushes me on. He can be a bit of a pain in the ear - but he's good to play with. He has played with some good players now and I think a few things have rubbed off on him."

Copyright - British Soccer Week

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