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08 December 2018 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

Wally ahead of Rochdale: let’s make it a fortress

Interview with our new manager ahead of key home game

7 December 2018

Wally Downes has called on the supporters and players to help make our home ground a fortress, ahead of Saturday's game against Rochdale.

The Dons will be aiming to make it two home wins on the bounce after edging out Southend United and our new manager wants his side to go on the attack tomorrow.

"I don't like harping back, but when I used to play there were 4,000 or 5,000 fans there, but sometimes you would think there were 50,000 fans there. If the fans are making a noise, if the fans are really at it, then those players will respond to it. Certainly, I know that if the fans are looking to get us out of this trouble which we are in, they will raise the roof for the boys, and I guarantee that the people out there will be giving 100 per cent to respond to the support that they get.

"We've got some clips on Rochdale, the usual analysis that comes through. I haven't had too much time in the last few days to focus on that, but Glyn has and he's been terrific. He has been working with our analyst and we won't be lacking any focus or coming away from it saying that we don't know what Rochdale are about. Having said that, the opposition is largely irrelevant for this game. It's all about how we approach the game, it's all about our attitude, and how much we are looking to rectify the position that we are in.

"Overall, what I took from Tuesday’s game is that I think we play better on the front foot with a bit of energy and looking to get into the opposition’s half quicker than what we did in the first-half. Having won the last home league game, winning another one will be a fillip for the side. This has got to become a fortress with the amount of games we have left. We have to make sure at home that we are solid and we look to break and put teams on the back foot, so that we can win these matches."

Midfielder Anthony Wordsworth will miss tomorrow's game as he is serving a three-match suspension due to his sending off in the Checkatrade Trophy tie on Tuesday night. Captain Deji Oshilaja is doubtful with a bruised foot and Kwesi Appiah is still injured.

Show your support at the start of Wally's reign on Saturday by cheering on the boys against Rochdale. We still have terrace tickets available for the Chemflow End and the RyGas terrace. Order in advance from our online ticket shop (until 11 am on Saturday) or pay at the turnstiles on the day.

Wally was talking during an exclusive interview for our iFollow channel, ahead of Rochdale. Click on the link above to watch our manager's full update.

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Match Reports

Barcham rescues a point in Wally's first game in charge

Dons earn a draw in new manager's first match back at Wimbledon

8 December 2018

Andy Barcham's first goal of the season rewarded Wimbledon for a determined second-half fightback in Wally Downes's first match as manager.

The 1-1 draw was deserved for a second 45 minutes full of character from the Dons after falling behind in the first-half. Substitute Barcham fiinished off a nice Wimbledon move in the 70th minute, but the Dons needed Joe McDonnell to make a brilliant save in the last minute.

In his first game in charge, Wally Downes initially made three changes to the side that started last Saturday at FC Halifax. Due to Deji Oshilaja’s ankle injury, there was a recall for Tennai Watson at right-back. Scott Wagstaff was also back in the side for Anthony Wordsworth and James Hanson was preferred to Jake Jervis up front. However, our new manager was forced into a late change to the starting line-up with Pigott suffering an injury in the warm-up and that meant Jervis received a late call-up. Despite being sent off in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy tie at Chelsea, Wordsworth was named on the bench with the club having been told on Friday that suspensions only count in that competition.

Wally Downes had stated his intention to get Wimbledon playing on the front foot with a high-tempo style, but Rochdale made it difficult early on. Good passing resulted in Rochdale establishing most of the possession and Wimbledon had to sit deep and stay resolute in defence. With 15 minutes gone, Will Nightingale, who was named captain on the day, produced a commanding header to clear a dangerous cross, but the ball was worked back to Andrew Cannon, who shot over the crossbar. It had been a struggle for Wimbledon to put sustained pressure together, but there was a promising move in the 22nd minute when Wagstaff sent over a cross from the right that Hanson met, but his shot was over the crossbar.

As we approached the half hour mark, Wimbledon were gradually starting to come into it. Mitch Pinnock sent over a lovely free-kick from the right that Rod McDonald was just unable to reach, before Ben Purrington crossed for Hanson, who headed wide of the target. However, Rochdale continued to have the majority of possession and it was 1-0 to the visitors in the 35th minute. A swift Rochdale break down the Wimbledon left created space for Joseph Rafferty and his cross from the right was scrambled home with Calvin Andrew appearing to get the final touch. The half-time whistle signalled a job well done so far from a Rochdale perspective and the Dons needed more attacking urgency to prise them open.

Wimbledon did start the second-half with much more purpose and there was a great chance to equalise less than a minute in when Jervis sent over a lovely cross from the right that picked out Hanson, but he headed over from close-range. It was much better from Wimbledon at the start of the second-half. The attacking momentum continued and Pinnock sent over a cross from the left that Hanson headed back for Wagstaff, who struck a fine effort that Rochdale keeper Josh Lillis did well to save. Pinnock also swung in another fine delivery from a free-kick that caused problems in the box, but Purrington’s flick was wide. Hanson’s aerial prowess was causing havoc in the box and his presence resulted in a chance for Purrington once again, but his goal-bound shot was blocked.

With an hour gone, Andy Barcham was introduced for Jake Jervis and that turned out to be pivotal in this match. Straight away Barcham was up and down the left flank, showing the energy that has been such a feature of his three years with the club. With 20 minutes to go, Barcham had his first goal of the season to show for his efforts too. It was a lovely goal in its execution with Purrington’s throw-in flicked on by Hanson into the path of Mitch Pinnock and his lay-off was superbly steered home by Barcham. The mood around the Cherry Red Records Stadium was transformed now and it was almost 2-1 shortly afterwards. Barcham found space on the left and his pass picked out Hanson, who was clean through, but his shot was well saved by the legs of Josh Lillis.

Both sides attempted to win it in the latter stages. but it was Rochdale that came closest to snatching victory. In the last minute of normal time, McDonnell reacted superbly to pull of a wonderful finger-tip save from Andrew's header, which was bound for the top corner. However, Wimbledon appeared to have valid claims for a penalty for a challenge in the box on Wagstaff, but the referee was unimpressed. Despite failing to go on and win it, the fightback offered encouragement for Wimbledon in Wally's first game in charge.

AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Tennai Watson, Ben Purrington, Will Nightingale, Scott Wagstaff, Anthony Hartigan, Mitch Pinnock, James Hanson, Tom Soares (Anthony Wordsworth), Rod McDonald, Jake Jervis (Andy Barcham).    

Pic credit: Matt Redman, Pro Sports Images.

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Ticket News

Tickets: Cheer on Wally’s Wimbledon against Rochdale

Match arrangements for the home game on Saturday

7 December 2018

It’s the start of a new managerial era on Saturday with Wally Downes taking charge of his first game and tickets are available for you to show your support.

The Dons will be aiming to secure a second home victory on the bounce after edging out Southend at the Cherry Red Records Stadium last time out. Your support will be very much appreciated and a cracking atmosphere could help Wally’s boys to secure all three points.

Below is a summary of ticket availability and other match arrangements for Saturday’s game:

Tickets

We’ve sold out of seat tickets, but there’s still availability for the Chemflow End and the RyGas terrace (adults just £17). You can buy in advance until 11.00 am on Saturday from our online shop or pay on the day at the terraces. Ticket collection will be from the white booth in Jack Goodchild Way.

Bars

These will be open from 12 noon with a wide selection of drinks, including real ales, available to buy. You can warm up for the Dons game by watching Premier League action on TV screens in the bars with the AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool match shown live from 12.30 pm. The Chelsea v Man City game will be shown live from 5.30 pm.

Below are the real ales that are available in the bars:

Main Bar

Plough Lane Ale

Gallows Gold

XXK

Back Bar

Plough Lane Ale

Wimbledon Common Ale

XXK

Hot cider will also be available to buy in both bars, a nice drink to warm you up on a December day! We will be pleased to welcome Rochdale supporters into the bar areas before the game.

Dons Trust Kiosk

Dons Trust members and people interested in the work of the Trust are welcome to visit the Dons Trust kiosk before the match. Come and ask board members Roger Evans and Mark Davis about the work of the board generally or their own specific roles. Roger is a member of the board’s Stadium Committee, whilst Mark is Chair of the Trust and a member of the board’s Oversight and Operations committees. You can hand in a hard copy of your response to the stadium consultation which is currently underway. 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). Please note that we no longer collect printer cartridges.

Toy Appeal

Our First Team squad will be visiting children in St George’s Hospital Children’s Ward and Shooting Star House Children’s Hospice, armed with donations and a sack full of Wimbledon goodies. You can help to make a better Christmas for children at the two facilities by donating new toys and cash donations. You can do this at the Dons Trust Kiosk tomorrow (between 1.00 pm and 2.45 pm). See our previous article for more information on toys suitable for donations.

Programme

Your match day programme is packed full of news, features, and interviews about your club. There’s an in-depth interview with Will Nightingale, who talks about his motivation to give his all for the club he joined at the age of eight. Our Development Coach Alan Reeves is also interviewed about his time at both Wimbledon and Rochdale during his playing days.

Tickets for away games

Supporters can on Saturday buy tickets for the away games at Charlton Athletic, Wycombe Wanderers, and Portsmouth. You can buy these from the complimentary tickets window before the game and for a short time after the match.

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