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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

20 October 2018 Venue Bloomfield Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Neal calls for combined effort to turn it around

Quotes from both managers, stats, and a recap of previous battles

19 October 2018

Neal Ardley has called for his squad to start rewarding fans for their support by replicating the performance levels shown in the second-half against Portsmouth on a regular basis.

Wimbledon tomorrow face a Blackpool side beaten only once in the league so far this season, but the Dons did run league leaders Portsmouth close on Saturday after a difficult first-half on home turf.

The fixture at Bloomfield Road will be Blackpool’s first League One match for two weeks with the Tangerine Army having had an away game at Sunderland postponed due to international call-ups for their scheduled opponents.

It was honours even last season between the two clubs with Blackpool triumphing 1-0 last September, before a 2-0 victory for the Dons at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Below are quotes from both managers, plus a recap of those previous matches, and stats:

Neal Ardley

“The players represent the fans and that’s what hurts the most. Rightly so, the fans were not happy at half-time on Saturday. Players have to go out and show that they care, run like they care, fight like they care, and then show their footballing ability within that. They didn’t do it in the first-half on Saturday, they did do it in abundance in the second-half and that’s what they have to do. They have to do it for those that do make the journey on Saturday, for those that travel midweek, and for those that come to our home games. We’ve got to give that to them. That’s something I’m going to try and create from now on in.

“I know in football that when you’ve lost the amount of games we’ve lost you should expect people to be unhappy and disappointed. When you are putting in performances like the other day they have a right to be disappointed. I’m disappointed and the fans I know will continue to support the players, that’s all I can ask for. I know they will have favourite players they think should play and others they think shouldn’t - that’s part and parcel of football - but they need to support whatever team goes out there on Saturday, get behind them. Hopefully the players will respond to that and between the players and the fans we can turn this around.

“They (Blackpool) have got good players, last season they massively over-achieved. The second season in this league can be tough, but they’ve gone the same way about it. If you lose just one game so far then you are doing something right. They are very strong at the back and there was a lot of interest in Curtis Tilt, but he’s back playing for them now. He has done great for them and they have threats all over the pitch. I cannot worry about the opposition at the moment. I will show them the utmost respect because they deserve it, but you have to get your own team right and that’s been my focus all week.”

Terry McPhillips:

“The Gillingham and Sunderland games got called off and you can’t do anything about it. You just get on with it and play those games when we are told to. We just carry on, keep playing and do as well as we can. There are loads of games coming up, so I think the squad is going to be well used. We now just want to go on another run of winning games.

“We should have more points in the league, but we haven’t. We our kicking ourselves for that and only we can do something about it. That’s what we will attempt to do in the next two home games. Even if we had turned three of those draws into wins we would have six more points and be right up there with a couple of games in hand. We’d rather have six points on the board than the two games in hand but you just get given it, don’t you?

 “We’ve used the break to get some rest and recovery. It has been good to give them a couple of days off. We’ve since had a full week’s training and the boys have looked really sharp and hungry, very competitive, so it’s an exciting time ahead now. The lads are really on the front foot and raring to go. They are looking forward to the game and the competition for places is immense.

“They (Wimbledon) are competitive and they like to chuck it in the box. They’ve got some big lads. “They’ve not been on their best run either but this league shows that any team can beat anyone at any time and give anyone a game.  We know they’ve got a good budget and some good players. But if we play well we’ll have a good chance and if we don’t then anything can happen.

“They had a bright start but that’s this league, isn’t it? A few wins on the bounce will get them right up there again. They’ve got a good manager and they’ve definitely got some good players. They play 4-4-2 normally, they have a go, and they chuck it in the box. They ask questions and we’ll have to be ready for that. On the other side, there are ways we can get the better of them so we’ll see if the training and the work we have done this week will come to fruition.”

Team News

Neal Ardley is hopeful that Scott Wagstaff will be ready to make a return after a hamstring injury. However, Andy Barcham (calf) is doubtful, Anthony Wordsworth (Achilles) will miss out, and Neal will also check on Joe Pigott and Tyler Garratt. Blackpool will welcome back Jordan Thompson after international duty with Northern Ireland Under-21s. Harry Pritchard and Chris Taylor are both back in contention after returning to full injury.

Last meetings:

AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Blackpool (20 January 2018)

Blackpool 1-0 AFC Wimbledon (2 September 2017)

The first meeting last season between the two teams ended with a narrow victory for Blackpool, thanks to a 52nd minute winner from Sean Longstaff, who was on loan from Newcastle United at the time. The goal came just three minutes before a vital incident in the match with Jimmy Abdou red-carded and Wimbledon were unable to find a way back into the game after that. It was a completely different story in the home game with Liam Trotter opening the scoring just after the break and a debut goal from Joe Pigott sealed victory. Click on the link below for match highlights.

Last time out (league):

Blackpool 2-2 Rochdale

AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Portsmouth


This is not an all-ticket game, so tickets can be purchased on the day (cash only) from the kiosk by the away end.

Seated tickets for this away trip are priced at:

£22 (Adult)

£18 (Over 60)

£10 (Under 18)

Dons fans will be accommodated in the all-seated Mortensen North Stand.

Any tickets purchased after Tuesday 16 October will be available for collection on Saturday at Bloomfield Road.

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Match Reports

Dons pay the price for missed chances at Blackpool

Hosts edge tight encounter at Bloomfield Road

20 October 2018

AFC Wimbledon were left to rue several missed chances in the second-half at Blackpool today.

The 2-0 final score-line was perhaps harsh on Wimbledon with Neal Ardley’s men having the better of the game in the second-half, but failing to find that cutting edge.

Conceding a sloppy opening goal cost Wimbledon with Blackpool’s second coming when the visitors were chasing the game near the end.  

Neal Ardley made four changes to his starting line-up with James Hanson, Will Nightingale, Anthony Hartigan, and Scott Wagstaff recalled to the team. Liam Trotter, Joe Pigott, and Tennai Watson had to settle for places on the bench with Andy Barcham missing out due to injury. Deji Oshilaja filled the right-back spot and it was certainly an attacking Dons side with forwards Hanson, Jake Jervis, and Kwesi Appiah all included.

There was an early warning for Wimbledon in the sixth minute when Nathan Delfouneso found space on the left and put over a cross that picked out Harry Pritchard, who produced a powerful header that thudded off the crossbar and it was eventually scrambled away for a corner. There was no reprieve from the subsequent flag kick with Jay Spearing putting in a lovely delivery to the back post that appeared to be going straight in, but Curtis Tilt claimed the last touch.

Wimbledon found it difficult to conjure up a response after that early setback and the hosts threatened to double the advantage in the 27th minute. Blackpool danger-man Pritchard should perhaps have done better when a cross rebounded off Deji Oshilaja into his path, but he fired over the crossbar. The Dons started to grow into this match as the first-half progressed and a good spell followed around the half hour mark. Kwesi Appiah had a half chance when he got on the end of a cross from Oshilaja, but he struck his finish wide from an acute angle. Jake Jervis then produced a smart turn outside the box, before letting fly with a shot that flashed just past the post. There was another encouraging sign when Purrington delivered a dangerous cross from the left that Jervis came close to reaching at the back post.

With five minutes remaining of the first-half, Wimbledon came so close to an equaliser. Appiah showed sharp forward play to get on the end of a flick-on by Hanson and his powerful volley was impressive too, but Blackpool keeper Mark Howard did really well to save it. A foul on Hanson 25 yards out also earned a decent chance from a free-kick for Wimbledon, but the shot from Jervis was well held by Howard. Despite going in 1-0 down at the break, Wimbledon could take encouragement from a good finish to the first-half.

Wimbledon started the second-half with a real determination to get back into this game and a fine move fashioned a very good chance for Jervis. Hartigan, Hanson, and Jervis combined to find Appiah on the left and his cross picked out Jervis, but he headed over the crossbar. Playing towards the Wimbledon travelling support in the second-half, Neal Ardley’s men continued to push forward in search of an equaliser. A fine challenge in the Blackpool half by Oshilaja summed up how much the Dons wanted to end a difficult recent run. Jervis almost marched through on goal, but Blackpool defender Marc Bola got in a last-ditch clearance.

Blackpool were penned back deep into their own half by the hour mark and another Wimbledon chance went begging. Scott Wagstaff found Oshilaja in space and his cross was met by Appiah, but his header was well held by Howard. Then Wagstaff had an opportunity to net his third Wimbledon goal, but he dragged his shot wide. With Blackpool appearing to have stemmed the tide, Neal Ardley made two changes in quick succession. Mitch Pinnock was introduced for Ben Purrington and Joe Pigott replaced Appiah up front. Pinnock was straight into the thick of the action and he had a shot deflected wide. Then he put over a lovely cross that picked out Hanson, but his header was straight into the grateful arms of Howard. With 10 minutes to go, referee Anthony Backhouse waved away Wimbledon appeals for a penalty with Tilt appearing to handle in the box when under pressure from Hanson.

Wimbledon had certainly played well in the second-half, but Blackpool scored the killer second in the 84th minute with Marc Bola allowed space on the left and he fired home impressively into the bottom corner. There was no way back for Wimbledon, but there’s little time to dwell on the defeat with a trip to Bristol Rovers coming up on Tuesday night.

AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Ben Purrington (Mitch Pinnock), Deji Oshilaja (Liam Trotter), Will Nightingale, Scott Wagstaff, Anthony Hartigan, Kwesi Appiah (Joe Pigott), Jake Jervis, James Hanson, Tom Soares, Rod McDonald.  

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Ticket News

Blackpool tickets: pay on the day

Ticket prices for match at Bloomfield Road

19 October 2018

Neal Ardley's men will be aiming for another victory in Lancashire on Saturday and tickets are available on the day to cheer on the Dons.

Wimbledon earned a 1-0 victory at nearby Fleetwood on the opening day of this season and a similar outcome tomorrow would be most welcome!

Seated tickets for this away trip are priced at:

  • £22 (Adult)
  • £18 (Over 60)
  • £10 (Under 18)

This is not an all-ticket game, so tickets can be purchased on the day (cash only) from the kiosk by the away end.

Dons fans will be accomodated in the all-seated Mortensen North Stand.

Delivery & Collection

Any tickets purchased after Tuesday 16 October will be available for collection on Saturday at Bloomfield Road.

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