Damage done in first half as Blues lose in South London
Town's play-off hopes were dealt a huge blow following a 3-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon this evening.
Seven frantic first-half minutes saw the hosts strike twice before Blues were reduced to 10 men at Plough Lane.
Headers from Will Nightingale and Jack Rudoni put the hosts in control, with Josh Harrop's red card giving the visitors a mountain to climb in South London.
The result was put beyond any doubt when second-half substitute Ryan Longman fired into the bottom corner four minutes from time.
Paul Cook made three changes to the team that drew with MK Dons on Saturday, as Harrop, Alan Judge and James Norwood stepped in for Teddy Bishop, Andre Dozzell and Armando Dobra.
Norwood was back in the setup for the first time since Good Friday's home win against Bristol Rovers having recovered from a thigh problem.
The game got off to a quick start with both sides having shots on target within the first 10 minutes. Tomas Holy comfortably collected a header at one end, before Aaron Drinan stooped to meet a cross from Gwion Edwards at the other, but his header was soft and the Wimbledon cleared their lines.
Joe Pigott tested Holy in the 20th minute with a curling strike from 20 yards out, but the Czech shot-stopper got to his right to push the forward's effort behind.
But AFC Wimbledon took the lead from the resulting corner. Nightingale rose highest and sent a bullet header into the back of the net from the middle of the box.
Rudoni then had space in the box and made no mistake as he headed past Holy following a cross from the right side.
Josh Harrop was shown a straight red in the 28th minute following a high and late tackle on Nesta Guinness-Walker as Town's evening went from bad to worse.
Blues almost had a lifeline nine minutes before the break when Nick Tzanev's clearance was collected by Edwards, but the winger, having driven past his man, was unable to find a man in the box with a low cross.
Seven minutes into the second half Ayoub Assal was denied twice in quick succession. The attacker burst through but was denied by Holy in a one-on-one situation, before seeing a header cleared off the line by Toto Nsiala.
Andre Dozzell, Freddie Sears and Keanan Bennetts were then introduced to the action just after the hour mark.
Pigott tried to add a third for the hosts 18 minutes from time, but his curling strike from the edge of the box sailed a yard wide of the top corner.
Norwood should have pulled one back for Town in the 78th minute, but he headed over from a Luke Woolfenden cross having found himself in plenty of space.
Longman drilled in for Wimbledon's third on 86 having been teed up by fellow substitute, and former Town player, Shane McLoughlin.
Sent off: Harrop.
Booked: Rudoni, Judge.
AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, O'Neill (Alexander 75'), Woodyard (C), Nightingale, Palmer (Longman 69'), Rudoni (McLoughlin 64'), Assal (Oksanen 63'), Guinness-Walker (Osew 75'), Dobson, Kalambayi, Pigott.
Subs: Cox, Csoka.
Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Chambers (C), Edwards (Bennetts 63'), Downes, Judge (Dozzell 63'), Ward (Bishop 69'), Harrop, Norwood (Jackson 80'), Drinan (Sears 63').
Subs: Cornell, McGuinness.