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06 April 2019 Venue The Cherry Red Records Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Wally stays focused on the challenge ahead

Views from both managers ahead of important match on Saturday

5 April 2019

An opportunity for AFC Wimbledon to move out of the League One drop zone awaits on Saturday, but Wally Downes is reluctant to look too far ahead in the battle to stay up.

Accrington Stanley tomorrow visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium for the first time since the League 2 play-off semi-final first leg in May 2016. Both clubs were vying to reach Wembley back then, but it’s a completely different scenario now with staying in League 1 as the ultimate goal.

Following a bright start to life in League One after going up as title winners last season, reality has hit home for John Coleman’s side and they head into tomorrow’s match on the back of a fifth defeat in six matches, though that was against promotion contenders Sunderland. Our manager is far from underestimating the challenge that Accrington will present on Saturday and he expects them to come out fighting.

Wally Downes

“They (Accrington) are professional players and they will have been stung by the result. I am sure they will be looking to put in a better display against us. I noticed that they changed their system around. Whether that was looking forward to how they were going to play against us, I don’t know. We’ve seen their last game, so it’s a little bit up in the air with how they are going to play, but as long as we put in our performance, that’s all that matters on the day.

“We have to just look to win the next game. If that (moving out of the relegation zone) is a by-product of winning, great. In lots of interviews I’ve been doing they’ve been talking about how the league has condensed. I don’t think anyone knows who is going to be where at the end of the season, so all I can do is focus on winning the next game.

“We want to excite the fans and it’s our job to excite them. It’s their job to support us so if we both do our jobs hopefully we will get the right result. I was pleased with the performance against Gillingham (last home game) and the fact we kept going as we got a goal in injury time. Gillingham are a very experienced team and when they got their noses in front they knew how to manage the game. Our inexperience showed. I was not happy to lose the game, but there were a lot of positives to take from it.”

John Coleman

“We have to stay together, we have to keep our heads up. I won’t be letting my head go down and I won’t be letting any of the players get down. We need a lift and the best lift you can get when you are involved in the world of football is to score goals. We need a goal from somewhere. We just have to keep trying.

“The next run of games is massive. It’s going to define our season and we have to give it our best shot. You only get three points for any game of football and we will be doing our best to take all three (on Saturday).

“I didn’t think we could be faulted for effort against Sunderland. The players gave their all, but we came up short. They were better than us. There were key moments that didn’t go our way through our own problems. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We gifted them a goal and didn’t take three gilt-edged chances. If you are giving goals away and missing good chances, that’s a recipe for disaster in football.”

Team News

Wally Downes could have a fully-fit squad to choose from. With Kwesi Appiah and Deji Oshilaja having boosted their fitness by coming through a midweek practice match, they could both be included in the squad.  Accrington will have winger Jordan Clark back for their crucial match against a Wimbledon side currently in the relegation zone. Clark picked up his 10th booking of the season and missed the two games against Fleetwood on Saturday and Sunderland on Wednesday.

Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)

AFC Wimbledon WLWWWD

Accrington Stanley LLLWLL

Previous meetings

Accrington Stanley 2-1 AFC Wimbledon (22 September 2018)

A much-improved second-half display from Wimbledon was not enough to earn a point at Accrington. At 2-0 down on the hour, the Dons looked dead and buried, but substitute Scott Wagstaff struck a superb individual effort and Jake Jervis came close to an equaliser. Wimbledon paid the price for starting too slowly, handing the initiative to Accrington and Billy Kee opened the scoring early on. Sean McConville’s deflected strike made it 2-0 on the hour and Wagstaff’s excellent goal turned out to be of consolation value only.

See the highlights from that match by clicking on the link below

Accrington Stanley 2-2 AFC Wimbledon (18 May 2016)

At 1-0 up from the first leg, thanks to a late winner from Tom Beere, The Dons knew that a draw at Accrington would be enough and that’s exactly what happened. However, that doesn’t even tell half the story! Josh Windass and Piero Mingoia put Accrington 2-0 up before the hour and dreaming of Wembley, but Bayo Akinfenwa’s emphatic header sent the game into extra-time. Floodlight failure held up the game during extra-time, but there was no stopping Wimbledon on the night with Lyle Taylor striking the goal that earned a final spot at Wembley and a glorious promotion followed.

iFollow

If you’re not going the game tomorrow then you can stay in touch by listening to commentary on iFollow from the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Domestic subscribers can listen to WDON coverage with Mikey T and Rob Cornell. Overseas subscribers can watch a live stream on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Dons forced to settle for a point after bold start

Pigott's goal is not enough to earn maximum points

6 April 2019

AFC Wimbledon today failed to make the most of superior possession and chances against Accrington Stanley with all the key moments coming in the first-half.

Joe Pigott’s superb opener was cancelled out by Jordan Clark and Billy Kee missed a penalty before the half-time whistle sounded and a second-half stalemate meant that it ended 1-1. However, The Dons didn’t lose any ground in the battle to stay up with other teams down there failing to earn three points.

Following the impressive win at Scunthorpe, Wally Downes decided to make just one change to his starting line-up with Scott Wagstaff recalled and Shane McLoughlin having to settle for a place on the bench. Wimbledon came into this match aiming for a fifth win in six games against an Accrington side that had lost six out of seven games. The start to this game reflected that stark contrast with Wimbledon starting brightly and Toby Sibbick turned inside smartly and had a shot saved by Accrington keeper Dimitar Evtimov. There was then a goalmouth scramble with Paul Kalambayi trying to force the ball home, but Accrington just managed to clear the danger.

Accrington offered little as an attacking force in the opening exchanges and referee Neil Hair attempted to stamp his authority on proceedings from the outset when he booked Paul Smyth for simulation after he went down in the box as he Will Nightingale attempted to get in a challenge. The visitors threatened for the first time when Sean McConville, who scored in a win for Accrington in the corresponding fixture, struck a free-kick that Aaron Ramsdale did well to hold. However, Wimbledon were well in charge in the first half an hour and a fine move involving Anthony Wordsworth and Seddon gave Wagstaff a chance to run through on goal, but he was just denied.

Considering the start to this game, it was no surprise when Wimbledon marched into the lead in the 21st minute. Steve Seddon’s cross was only half cleared and Joe Pigott took full advantage with a clinical finish into the bottom corner. At this stage, Wimbledon were full value for the 1-0 advantage, but Accrington restored parity in the 36th minute. Kalambayi was unable to deal with a through ball, his repeated attempts to head the ball back to Aaron Ramsdale coming up short, and Jordan Clark made no mistake from close-range. Four minutes later, the visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead. The referee adjudged that Scott Wagstaff had brought down Smyth in the area and Billy Kee, a regular scorer against Wimbledon in the past, took responsibility, but he dragged the penalty kick wide.

It had certainly been an eventful first 45 minutes. Wimbledon dominated for long spells, but Accrington had just managed to stay in the game and seized their opportunity when it came.

The Dons started the second-half with real determination to regain supremacy. Accrington survived another goalmouth scramble, before James Hanson came so close to giving Wimbledon the lead again. A ball from Pigott put him through on goal and Hanson’s smart lob drifted agonisingly wide. It was so close to a second for Wimbledon with Accrington surviving by the skin of their teeth. Though Sam Finley fired over the crossbar for Accrington at the other end, the Wimbledon pressure was building at the hour mark. Wally Downes attempted to capitalise on that by making an attacking change with Dylan Connolly entering the fray for Paul Kalambayi.

Connolly was straight into the thick of the action and he produced a trademark run down the left, before putting in a good ball into the box, but no one was able to get on the end of it. There was another change with 68 minutes on the clock, as Kwesi Appiah was sent on to replace Joe Pigott. Accrington had their best chance of the second-half so far when McConville pounced on a slip by Will Nightingale, but his shot was into the side netting. The second-half was regularly disrupted by man-in-the-middle Hair, who was certainly card-happy on the day. Though The Dons had the majority of possession and forward play, it was proving difficult to make it count.

Wimbledon piled forward in the latter stages in pursuit of all three points, but a decisive second goal didn’t look like coming. Despite the draw, Wimbledon still have a great opportunity to stay up with five games to go.

AFC Wimbledon: Aaron Ramsdale, Will Nightingale, Scott Wagstaff, Anthony Hartigan, Steve Seddon, James Hanson, Toby Sibbick, Rod McDonald, Paul Kalambayi (Dylan Connolly), Joe Pigott (Kwesi Appiah), Anthony Wordsworth.

Pic credit: Matt Redman, Pro Sports Images.

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Ticket News

Match Details: Limited number of terrace tickets left

AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day will be celebrated on Saturday

5 April 2019

AFC Wimbledon will on Saturday be aiming to take another step towards League One survival and we’ve had high demand to get behind The Dons against Accrington Stanley.

On Grand National Day, Wally’s boys seek to overcome another hurdle on the road to staying up and it’s also an important occasion for the club off the pitch as we celebrate AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day.

There’s plenty going on at tomorrow’s game and below is a summary of match arrangements:

Tickets

All seated areas and the Chemflow End are sold out, but a limited amount of tickets are available for the RyGas terrace. These will be available online until 11.00 am on Saturday morning and, subject to availability, before the game. Supporters can collect tickets ordered in advance from the white ticket booth in Jack Goodchild Way (next to the Dons Trust Kiosk) before the game.

AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day

It will be an extra special Dons occasion for the match against Accrington Stanley with 150 children joining us to celebrate AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day!

Kids from local schools and the Foundation’s community programmes will be at the game, plus people from disability and adult groups that the club works with regularly.

There will be a matchday raffle for a very important cause with all funds donated to a summer project to help disadvantaged children in the community. A total of 700,000 London children struggle for food during the school holidays and this is reflected locally in Merton. Our Foundation’s ‘Kitchen Social’ scheme, in partnership with Phipps Bridge Youth Centre in Mitcham, aims to help make a difference in the community.

Help us tackle child food poverty in Merton by donating online or by buying a raffle ticket this Saturday. Look out for our raffle sellers around the ground!

Bars

Unfortunately, due to two evening private functions at the Cherry Red Records Stadium this Saturday, we will have to close the club bars at 6.30 pm. Fans will be able to enjoy the usual MOTM presentation and watch the first half of the Man City v Brighton & Hove Albion (FA Cup Semi-Final) in the bars. However, we will have to close the Your Golf Travel Bar and back bar at 6.30 pm.

Please note after the conclusion of the MOTM presentation, fans without Presidents Lounge passes will be able to access the Presidents Lounge Bar. This is a small bar so access will be given on a first come, first served, basis. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The bars will open at 12 noon on Saturday with Accrington Stanley supporters welcome to enjoy a drink here at the club. The Championship match between leaders Norwich City and QPR will be shown in the bars from 12.30 pm. A wide selection of drinks, including real ales, will be served. Plough Lane Ale, Wimbledon XXK, and Wimbledon Pale Ale will be available in the YGT Bar with Plough Lane Ale, Wimbledon Pale Ale, and Wimbledon Common Ale served in the back bar.

New signing announced for club bars!

We are delighted to announce that we will now be serving refreshing and locally distilled Bloody Bens Gin in our stadium bars. As Spring kicks in, Bloody Bens Gin will be available from tomorrow’s game onwards.

Grand National to be screened in club bars

After the conclusion of the match, we will be showing the Grand National, live from Aintree Racecourse, in both bars from 5.15 pm.

World Autism Awareness Week: Matchday Sensory Packs

Sensory packs will be made available from the Accrington Stanley home game onwards. The packs will be in an AFC Wimbledon draw string bag and will include noise-reducing ear defenders, fidget spinners and a match day programme. The packs are limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis, for each match and will need to be pre-ordered prior to matchday. This can be done by emailing amanda.bynon@afcwimbledon.ltd.uk

Parking

Due to an event at the nearby Weir Archer Athletics and Fitness Centre, parking spaces will be limited at Saturday’s game. We recommend arriving early if you wish to park at the stadium.

Programme

Tomorrow’s edition will feature an extensive interview with Andy Barcham, who is determined to keep Wimbledon in League One after a four-year spell here that has included 161 appearances in all competitions so far. There’s also an interesting interview with former Don Roscoe Dsane, who looks back on his spell at Wimbledon during our non league days.

Golden Goal

Put yourself in with a chance to win the £100 first prize by buying a Golden Goal ticket tomorrow! Tickets cost just £1, so look out for our Golden Goal sellers around the stadium before the game.

Dons Trust Kiosk

DTB Cormac van der Hoeven and Hannah Kitcher will be available to talk to at the kiosk. You can also join the Trust or renew your membership at the kiosk, sign up to the Dons Draw (our regular monthly lottery), or donate loose change, foreign currency or items for AFCbay (our online auction).

Tickets for Oxford away

You can buy tickets for the away match at Oxford, which takes place on Saturday 13 April. Get your ticket from the complimentary tickets window before the game or for a short time after the match. Places on the supporters’ coach can also be booked.

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