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2-1
27 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

Key decisions for Wally ahead of Wycombe game

Update from the manager ahead of important match

25 April 2019

Wally Downes will have to make enforced changes to his starting line-up on Saturday with players missing out due to injuries.

Midfielder Scott Wagstaff came off with a calf injury in the midweek draw at Luton Town and he is ruled out for the last two games. Rod McDonald, who was substituted at half-time in the same match will also miss Saturday’s game due to a groin injury.

Speaking during an update for iFollow, Wally said: “Scott is going to miss the last two games of the season. He has been terrific for me in midfield, he covers a lot of ground, and takes a lot of heat off other players. His endeavour will be sorely missed. Rod misses Saturday as he has a groin strain so I’ve got a decision to make there as well. Everyone else is in contention.”

The Dons have battled against the odds to keep hopes alive of staying in League One for another season and the manager is eager to keep his players focused on the challenge ahead against Wycombe on Saturday.

“I’m not too bothered about Bradford,” said Wally. “We have to make sure we are fully focused on the first-half of Saturday’s game. Break it down if you want into four halves of football. If we go out and win the first-half on Saturday, then we will get them in at half-time, see what problems have arisen for us, and how we are going to approach the second-half. We need to focus on the next 45 minutes.

“It was one of my first games (the previous match against Wycombe) and we played really well that day. I thought we were worth a 2-0 and not a 2-1. They had won five games on the trot when we went there and they were working really hard. They’ve had a bad period since, but I went and watched them on Saturday and they’ve got the obvious threat of Bayo up front. They’ve got to win so they will be coming at us with confidence and we’ve got a big game ahead.”

Though Steve Seddon struck the all-important equaliser on Tuesday night, Wally has called for more goals from other areas with Wimbledon having been reliant on Joe Pigott for the majority of this season.

“None of our centre backs have scored a goal this year, which is a little bit disconcerting,” added Wally. “A few balls have dropped to them, but they haven’t put them away. We’ve just put them in some positions where if the ball drops, then it has to be calmly slotted away. If you get one chance you have to be able to take it and be clinical. If the opportunity falls to you, then you’ve got to be able to take it. This is not the time of the season when you can think, ‘don’t worry, we will score next time’. This may be the last chance that you get this season to score. It’s a chance to get a bit of glory, make sure your technique doesn’t let you down, and you are confident in what you do.”

Click on the link above for the full iFollow interview with Wally.  

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Match Reports

Dons move out of the drop zone with vital win

Joe Pigott strikes two precious goals as Wimbledon move closer to staying up

27 April 2019

A double from Joe Pigott secured a hard-fought victory for AFC Wimbledon today and moved Wally’s boys out of the League One relegation zone.

On a tense day at the Cherry Red Records Stadium – exactly six years since that memorable win against Fleetwood that kept Wimbledon in the league – The Dons earned a 2-1 victory that provides a great chance of staying in League One.

With other results going in Wimbledon’s favour, it means that the players will have their destiny in their own hands when they head to Bradford next Saturday.

Wally Downes made two enforced changes to his starting line-up with Rod McDonald and Scott Wagstaff both injured. McDonald’s absence meant that Terell Thomas, who ended the game at Kenilworth Road in midweek, started this one, and Shane McLoughlin replaced Wagstaff. The Dons came into this match on the back of a fourth successive draw at Luton Town with Wimbledon taking on a Wycombe side that had won two out of their last three games.

Wimbledon made a bright start to this match with Hanson getting on the end of a corner and heading just over the crossbar. However, the forward earned his team a golden opportunity shortly afterwards. Played through by a superb defence-splitting pass from his strike partner Joe Pigott, Hanson was scythed down just inside the area by Wycombe keeper Ryan Allsop. What followed was a four-minute delay while Allsop received treatment. Referee Andy Davies decided that Allsop’s challenge only merited a yellow card, rather than the red that the home faithful had demanded. The delay perhaps didn’t help penalty-taker Pigott, whose spot-kick failed to match the quality of his winner at Rochdale. Though not a bad penalty, it was far from in the corner and Allsop reacted well to make a fine save, before the rebound was scrambled away by Wycombe.

Despite the missed penalty, Wimbledon’s early momentum continued and Steve Seddon produced a superb run down the left, before getting a cross over for Pigott, who was just unable to get a shot away. After a blistering early spell from The Dons, Wycombe started to come into it. A big chance followed in the 22nd minute when Adam El-Abd got on the end of a corner from Jason McCarthy and his header beat Aaron Ramsdale, but Anthony Wordsworth cleared off the line. Minutes later, Wycombe threatened again through a free-kick from McCarthy, but Ramsdale watched it all the way to tip the ball over.

At this stage, Wimbledon needed to pick it up again and rediscover that early attacking momentum. Thankfully, The Dons did that with real gusto to earn the opening goal. Seddon showed a fine turn of foot to reach a through ball by Pigott and he was brought down for a free-kick. Though Pigott’s header from Anthony Hartigan’s free-kick was tipped wide by Allsop, there was no reprieve from the subsequent corner. Wordsworth’s well delivered corner picked out Pigott, who headed home emphatically from close-range. The goal was met with jubilation from Wimbledon’s home faithful and rightly so! What a chance to earn a vital victory in the battle to stay up. There was an opportunity to double the advantage when Hanson was put through on goal, but his shot was too close to Allsop, who did well to save. Bayo Akinfenwa fired a warning shot when he headed just wide, but Wimbledon remained 1-0 up at half-time.

Wycombe came out a completely different team at the start of the second-half, forcing Wimbledon back, and that paid off with the equaliser in the 48th minute. McCarthy found space down the right and his cross was diverted in at the near post by Alex Samuel, who got there just before Terell Thomas. Rejuvenated by the equaliser, Wycombe piled forward in numbers and they came so close to taking the lead when Scott Kashket’s cross picked out Samuel and his header bounced off the crossbar. That was certainly a nervy moment for Wimbledon to survive and it became even more important when a second goal followed for The Dons in the 52nd minute. Another fine cross from Wordsworth created havoc in the box and though Seddon was unable to get on the end of it, Pigott’s header had just enough on it to beat Allsop.

The second goal hardly settled nerves around the Cherry Red Records Stadium though, as Wycombe pushed for an equaliser. Curtis Thompson drilled a shot on target in the 68th minute, but Ramsdale did well to hold it. Though Wycombe attempted to pile the pressure on, Wimbledon defended well enough to stop the visitors from creating clear-cut chances.

Wally Downes made a double change 10 minutes from time. Paul Kalambayi’s injury meant that Tennai Watson was introduced at the back and the manager decided to utilise the pace of Dylan Connolly for the latter stages with Joe Pigott withdrawn after his vital double blast. Though Wycombe attempted to get back into it in the remainder, Wimbledon held firm at the back and it was a deserved victory for The Dons. The Great Escape is most definitely still on!

AFC Wimbledon: Aaron Ramsdale, Will Nightingale, Terell Thomas, Anthony Hartigan (Tom Soares), Steve Seddon, James Hanson, Toby Sibbick, Paul Kalambayi (Tennai Watson), Shane McLoughlin, Joe Pigott (Dylan Connolly), Anthony Wordsworth.

Pic credit: Stephen Wright, Pro Sports Images.

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Ticket News

Match Details: Wycombe game is sold out

Full match arrangements for Saturday

26 April 2019

All tickets have been snapped up for Wimbledon’s all-important final home game of 2018/19.

The Dons take on Wycombe Wanderers at the Cherry Red Records Stadium with an opportunity to take a step closer to safety and this match is a sell-out.

With it being our final home game of the season, there’s plenty going on, including our Player of the Year awards, and below is a summary of match arrangements:

Bars

These will be open from 12 noon with a wide variety of drinks available. Outside the Your Golf Travel Bar will be two pop-up bars (weather permitting) serving the following: Wimbledon Pale Ale, Wimbledon Gold Lager, Budweiser, and Stella Artois. Real ales in the Your Golf Travel Bar will be as follows: Plough Lane Ale, Wimbledon Copper Leaf, and Wimbledon Windmill Spring Ale. Plough Lane Ale, Wimbledon Common, and Wimbledon Windmill Spring Ale will be served in the back bar.

For access to the bars, tickets will be checked before the game, at half-time, and after the match. Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome Wycombe supporters into the bar areas. There will also be ticket checks for all supporters at the top of Jack Goodchild Way (entrance to the ground). Please have your tickets ready for inspection.

Player of the Year awards

The Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award ceremony will take place in the Your Golf Travel Bar after the game against Wycombe Wanderers.

Following the usual Man of the Match presentation at 5.30 pm, Ivor Heller will announce the winners of this year’s Player of the Year Awards. The Junior Dons award will be presented before the game at around 2.45 pm, but the rest of the awards will be presented in the YGT Bar after the game.

The following awards will be presented after the game:

  • The WISA Allen Batsford Player of the Year
  • The Natalie Callow Memorial Trophy for Young Player of the Year
  • AFC Wimbledon Academy Player of the Year
  • WDON Player of the Year

Programme

There’s an interesting interview in Saturday’s edition with a player who played for both clubs – Dannie Bulman. Of course, Dannie played a key part in our promotion to League One in 2016, but long before that he started his professional career at Wycombe after being plucked from non league. Look out in Saturday’s programme for a four-page spread on the recent Volunteers’ Away Day, plus all the usual features and news. 

Danny’s half-time challenge

Danny Wiggins is gearing up for a Chemflow End goal challenge at our final home match of the season this weekend – and he’s over halfway to reaching his fundraising target!

Danny, who is an adult with learning disabilities, will take on Paul Strank and Ivor Heller at the Wycombe game. All three will run from the halfway line with a ball each and the winner will be the one who scores against Colin Dipple, who will be guarding his goal at the Chemflow End in front of thousands of Dons fans.

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Funds raised from the challenge will be donated to a fantastic local charity – The Paul Strank Charitable Trust – who raise money for many important local causes. Danny, who attends Leyton Road Centre (formerly known as High Path), is aiming to raise £1,000 for charity and you can make a donation by visiting his JustGiving page.

Danny, who is a regular at AFC Wimbledon home matches, has been busy practising with the Dons first team squad and can’t wait to get out on the pitch in front of our fans!

Dons Trust Kiosk

Anna Kingsley and Mark Davis 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).

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.

Bradford Tickets

Wimbledon supporters can tomorrow buy tickets for the final game of the season at Bradford City. You can buy before the game and for a short time afterwards. Places on the supporters’ coach can also be booked, subject to demand. One supporters' coach is fully booked, but we are now taking bookings for a second coach. This will leave from opposite South Wimbledon tube station at 10.00 am and from the Cherry Red Records Stadium at 10.30 am. The price is £25.

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