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13 October 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

Preview: Neal maintains belief with Pompey up next

Views from both both camps, plus a look back at previous clashes, and stats

12 October 2018

AFC Wimbledon will be aiming to upset the form book against League One leaders Portsmouth on Saturday and Neal Ardley said his squad must have belief that they can do it.

Kenny Jackett's table-toppers visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium having lost just once in the league this season, though that did come last weekend with a surprise home defeat against Gillingham.

It's almost five years since a memorable Dons victory against Portsmouth – a 4-0 win back in November 2013 – but Pompey did win both league matches between the two clubs last season. Wimbledon triumphed 2-1 in the previous meeting in the Carabao Cup and the picture above shows Joe Pigott receiving congratulations from James Hanson after his equaliser.

Below are quotes from both managers, stats, and other key information:

Neal Ardley

"We can probably control 90 per cent of it as far as our belief in what we're trying to do and our mentality towards the performances that we put in during early season. Obviously, there is that 10 per cent that results will bring, that little buzz and taking the pressure off. That will come with results. We are trying to address that. At the moment, we are doing a lot of things right between the boxes, but we haven't done things right in the boxes. We have to keep believing that we will cut out the errors, that we will switch on, and we won't concede poor goals, like we did on Saturday, and we will take our chances when they come. Those margins can soon turn momentum your way.

"As a manager you have to try and take the pressure off the players, let them enjoy it and give them the composure they will need in those situations. You have to train it, make sure that they practice. You have to keep believing in them and making sure that they believe in themselves. That's all you can do. When the time comes on the pitch you get them in the right areas, you make sure the team gets the chances, which we've certainly had loads of, and then confidence and momentum can carry on. We hope it's around the corner and if it is then hopefully we can go on a run.

"It's something this club has been built on, playing against good teams. We've had a contrast last week in playing against bottom of the league. We put in a good performance, but we didn't win. Now we're at home against top of the league and so far at home we've only had the one win. We're disappointed with that as we feel we've deserved more."

Kenny Jackett

"They (Wimbledon) will be very positive on Saturday and there might be a derby feeling, with our allocation sold out at a tight ground. Both clubs will be well backed and that will contribute to a great atmosphere – I'm sure it will be competitive.

"You have to work hard for every point you get in this division and I have no doubt that it will be exactly the same this weekend. We have had two very good performances at home against Oxford and Plymouth, and I always think that home form is easier to get right than away form.

"We've shown discipline and character on the road and we always set up in an attempt to win the game, wherever we're playing. It was a frustrating afternoon for us against Gillingham last week because we were in control, but didn't turn our possession into shots. But we were pleased with Tuesday night at Crawley night – winning is winning and you want to experience it as much as you can. There's no doubt, though, that the league is our priority and it's a big game for us on Saturday. I'm confident we'll have the right attitude."

Team News

James Hanson is back in contention for a return after shaking off a hamstring injury. Though Terell Thomas has returned to full training after a knee injury, Saturday is likely to come too soon for him to make the squad. Portsmouth will be without the injured loan duo of Andre Green and David Wheeler. Ronan Curtis is away on international duty with the Irish squad.

Last time out

Plymouth 1-0 AFC Wimbledon
Crawley 0-1 Portsmouth (Checkatrade Trophy)

Last meetings

Portsmouth 1-2 (14 August 2018)

The Dons came from behind to earn a dramatic Carabao Cup victory. Christian Burgess nodded Pompey in front early in the second-half, but Joe Pigott equalised and Wimbledon won it just before a penalty shoot-out was required, thanks to an own goal from Anton Walkes.

Portsmouth 2-1 AFC Wimbledon (26 December 2017)

Ben Close opened the scoring in this Boxing Day clash, but Lyle Taylor appeared to have earned a point for the Dons by making no mistake from the penalty spot. However, Barry Fuller was adjudged to have fouled in the box and Brett Pitman struck from 12 yards to win it for Portsmouth.

A memorable blast from the past

On 16 November 2013 – just seven months after that dramatic final-day survival against Fleetwood – Wimbledon had a victory to savour. A double from Andy Frampton and goals from Sammy Moore and Michael Smith earned a 4-0 win against Pompey. Take a look at the highlights from that game by clicking on the link below.

Form guide

AFC Wimbledon - LLWLLL
Portsmouth – WLWWDW

This match is all-ticket, but you can still buy terrace tickets until 11.00 am on Saturday. You must have a previous purchase history to buy a ticket for the game. See our Match Details article for more information about tickets.

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Match Reports

Wimbledon's fight-back just falls short against league leaders

James Hanson's superb strike threatened a second-half turnaround

13 October 2018

James Hanson’s first Wimbledon goal was just not enough to earn a share of the spoils against table-toppers Portsmouth today.

A spirited second-half display included a fantastic goal from Hanson, but the Dons just failed to conjure up another goal with Pompey earning a 2-1 victory.

Hanson’s goal galvanised Wimbledon after his half-time introduction, the striker performing superbly on his return after injury and a repeat of the second-half display from the team certainly offered promise that there could be more points accrued in the coming weeks.

Neal Ardley made one enforced change to his starting line-up with Scott Wagstaff missing out due to a hamstring injury. That meant a recall for Kwesi Appiah with Jake Jervis switching to a deeper midfield role. Wimbledon came into this match seeking a second home victory of the season against a Portsmouth side unbeaten away from home in the league in 2018/19.

Portsmouth displayed all the confidence expected of a side top of the table in the first 10 minutes. Committing plenty of men forward, Pompey forced a corner in the fourth minute and it needed Joe McDonnell to make a fine save with his legs to stop Tom Naylor’s header finding the back of the net. The attacking momentum continued from the visitors and there was another opportunity shortly afterwards when a cross from the right by Gareth Evans picked out Oliver Hawkins, but his header was too high. Portsmouth came even closer when a long ball from Nathan Thompson caught out Wimbledon and Evans got in behind, but his low shot was once again saved by the feet of McDonnell.

Wimbledon showed signs of coming to life in an attacking sense when Appiah produced a fine run down the right, but his cross to Joe Pigott was too strong. Tom Soares had Wimbledon’s first shot at goal from a free-kick, but Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray saved comfortably. Jervis also had a half chance after a cross into the box was only half cleared, but MacGillivray held on to his shot well. Despite glimpses of attacking play from Wimbledon, it was sustained threat from Pompey and it was no surprise when the opener came in the 24th minute. A corner was whipped in by Dion Donohue and Naylor was first to it again, but this time his header had just enough on it to find the back of the net. Far from Pompey resting on their laurels, another chance quickly followed with Hawkins set-up by a cross from Lee Brown, but the header was just wide.

It had been a testing first half an hour for Wimbledon with Portsmouth piling forward at every opportunity. The only meaningful save made by MacGillivray in the first third of the game came when Andy Barcham found space just outside the area, but his shot from the left was beaten out by the Pompey keeper. However, that failed to change the pattern of this match with only last-ditch defending stopping Portsmouth from adding to their account. A second goal followed for Pompey in the 31st minute.  Jamal Lowe fed Lee Brown down the left and his cross left Evans with the simple task of slotting home. Wimbledon needed McDonnell to stay in the game shortly afterwards when he pulled off a finger-tip save to stop Naylor’s shot finding the back of the net. Lowe shot wide with another effort, as Pompey ended the half strongly. Following a half when Portsmouth showed all of their promotion credentials, it was going to prove tough for Wimbledon to get back into the game.

Neal Ardley made three substitutions at half-time. James Hanson, Anthony Hartigan, and Will Nightingale were introduced to replace Joe Pigott, Andy Barcham and Tennai Watson. It was clear that Wimbledon were now trying a different approach with balls aimed in the direction of Hanson, who provided something different now for Portsmouth to deal with. The visitors threatened a third goal when Lowe found space in the box, but his back-heel was well saved by McDonnell.

Wimbledon fashioned a great chance to get back into it when Jervis found space on the left and crossed well for Hanson, but he headed just wide. It was tantalisingly close to a goal back and offered encouragement for Wimbledon that there still could be a route back into this match. However, just minutes later the Dons needed a timely intervention from Tom Soares to stay in it when he cleared off the line to stop Matt Clarke’s header finding the back of the net.

With 63 minutes on the clock the match was transformed by a wonderful goal by Hanson. Latching onto a loose ball 25 yards out, the target man turned smartly before striking an unstoppable shot into the top corner. It was the signal for Wimbledon to crank up the pressure and it could have been 2-2 when Jervis got on the end of a cross, but his header was saved by MacGillivray. Then Oshilaja did brilliantly to get down the right flank and send over a cross that Appiah met well, but his header was also saved by the Pompey keeper. With 15 minutes to go, Wimbledon exerted a sustained spell of pressure with Portsmouth retreating deeper and deeper. Appiah pounced on another header on from Hanson, but his powerful goal-bound effort was blocked. Hanson had caused plenty of problems with Portsmouth not really having an answer to his aerial ability and that had resulted in waves of attacks from Wimbledon.

Though Wimbledon attempted to put plenty of pressure on in the latter stages, Portsmouth managed to see out the game very professionally. They had weathered the storm to blunt Wimbledon’s revitalised second-half attack, but Neal Ardley’s men could certainly draw encouragement from the fightback and more of the same is likely to lead to more points.

AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Tennai Watson (Will Nightingale), Ben Purrington, Deji Oshilaja, Kwesi Appiah, Jake Jervis, Liam Trotter, Andy Barcham (Anthony Hartigan), Tom Soares, Rod McDonald, Joe Pigott (James Hanson).  

Pic credit: Matt Redman, Pro Sports Images.

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Ticket News

Match Details: Terrace tickets available for Dons v Pompey

Cheer on the Dons against League One pace-setters

12 October 2018

AFC Wimbledon will on Saturday be aiming for a second home victory this season and your support will be appreciated to cheer on the boys against League One leaders Portsmouth.

As well as getting behind the Dons in pursuit of three points, there's also the opportunity to show your support for an important cause off the pitch. A match day collection will take place for Princess Alice Hospice, which provides high quality care to people with life threatening illnesses.

Below is a summary of ticket availability and other match arrangements ahead of the game:


Supporters can still buy tickets for the RyGas terrace, but all other areas are sold out. As this is an all-ticket fixture, supporters cannot buy from the turnstiles on the day. You must buy online before 11.00 am tomorrow morning and you can collect pre-match from the white booth in Jack Goodchild Way (all tickets purchased after Tuesday 9 October to be collected here). You must have a previous purchase history, this could be for tickets or merchandise, to buy tickets for this match. Click on the link below to our online ticket store and login to your account (top right-hand corner) before purchasing your tickets.

Portsmouth Tickets >> (RyGas only)

If you have an issue buying a ticket for this game online, e-mail the club or call 020 8547 3528.


The Your Golf Travel Bar and the back bar will both be open from 12 noon with a wide selection of drinks, including real ales, available to choose from. Bud Light, Budweiser, Becks Vier, Stella Artois, Magners, Magners Dark Fruits and Goose Island IPA will be on tap, plus a cracking array of ales. Wimbledon Brewery's new Figurehead Autumn Ale (4.4 per cent) will be introduced for the first time with this drink served in the Your Golf Travel Bar, along with Plough Lane Ale and SW19 Summer Ale. PLA, SW19, and Wimbledon Common Ale will all be served in the back bar.

We will be pleased to welcome Portsmouth supporters into the bar areas before the game. On TV screens will be the Sky Sports televised match between Barnsley and Luton Town from 12 noon. The Outside Bar and the Turnstile Bar will both be open from 1.00 pm.

Club Shop

The Club Shop opens from 12.00 noon and will be in full-swing pre and post-match. We have a range of new items including mobile phone covers, drinksware, luggage and much more. Pop in and peruse the wide range of Dons merchandise.


Delicious food from Shakey's Diner will be available both inside and outside the ground. Hot paninis (£4 each) will be sold during the game, so look out for one of the friendly team from Shakey's and grab a match day treat!


Tomorrow's edition features an exclusive interview with Jake Jervis, who tells us about how he bounced back from a tough spell in his career when he was left without a club after playing in the Turkish top-flight. The programme also features interviews with David Connolly and Matt Tubbs, strikers who played for both Portsmouth and Wimbledon. Including all the usual news and features from around your club, the programme is available to buy at a price of £3.

Golden Goals (sponsored by EcoGlow)

Put yourself in with a chance of winning £100 by getting hold of a Golden Goals ticket for just £1 on Saturday. Look out for our Golden Goals sellers before the game outside and inside the stadium. Your entry fee will be donated to the club cause with the initiative having raised thousands of pounds every season since AFC Wimbledon's reformation in 2002.

Collection for Princess Alice Hospice

Dig deep this Saturday and give generously to Princess Alice Hospice, who will be collecting cash donations before our match against Portsmouth.
For 32 years, Princess Alice Hospice has been providing free, high quality specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people with life threatening illnesses. It costs the hospice over £9.5 million each year to provide these much-needed services and as a charity they rely on the local community to generate 74% of our income (we only receive 26% of this through the NHS funding and grants).
In addition to the club's support for Mind, the official EFL charity partner, Princess Alice Hospice is one of two charities selected by our supporters for matchday collections in 2018/19. The other charity selected for a matchday collection later in the season is Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). For further information about this incredible hospice, please visit the charity's website.

Dons Trust Kiosk

DT members and people interested in the work of the Trust are welcome to visit the kiosk before the match. Come and ask board members Jane Lonsdale and Cormac van der Hoeven about the work of the board generally, or their own specific roles. Jane and Cormac are both members of the board's Engagement & Communications Committee, and you can read Cormac's views on communications on the Dons Trust page of this week's matchday programme. Members can also hand in a paper proxy vote to approve the issue of shares in AFCW PLC. 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 and foreign currency or items for AFCbay (our online auction). Please note that the DT no longer collect printer cartridges.

Tickets for away games

You can buy tickets for the away games at Blackpool on 20 October and Bristol Rovers on 23 October. Places on the supporters' coach can also be reserved from the complimentary tickets window (before the game and for a limited time afterwards).

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