Neal Ardley’s men aim to add to their points haul they’ve picked up on the road this season when they visit Accrington Stanley this Saturday.
Wimbledon’s two wins in the league so far this season have come on their travels, with victories at Fleetwood on the opening day and from the last away game at Gillingham a fortnight ago.
Standing in the Dons way though is a tough Stanley side likely to contain several survivors keen to avenge the outcome of their last meeting. On that occasion, over two years ago, Wimbledon drew 2-2 at Accrington. With Neal’s side having already won 1-0 at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in the first leg of a semi-final, it sealed a place in the 2016 League Two Play-off final on route to promotion.
Accrington eventually joined the Dons in League One this season, having been promoted as champions last term. Since then they’ve only lost once, on the opening day of the league campaign against Gillingham. Meanwhile, Wimbledon want to put back-to-back home defeats quickly behind them and return to good habits at the Wham Stadium.
Below are quotes from both managers, plus stats, ahead of tomorrow's game.
Neal Ardley -
“We need to go with our ‘A’ game and play really, really well if we’re going to be on that long journey home with anything to show for it.
“The onus is on Accrington, they’ll think it’s a game they can win. They’ll come to win it, naturally at home. We’ve got to do all the stuff you need to do to win a game away from home. We know that at home we haven’t quite managed to do that as teams have come and made it difficult for us. We’ve created our own downfalls at times at home, but that will turn, I’m confident it will turn and the results and the consistency will be there.
“Last season they were phenomenal and even the season before. They didn’t start great, but came strong. Whatever team John Coleman puts out, they play extremely good football and they cause you a load of problems. He’s still got quite a few that were there from two years ago and they are playing as well as ever.”
John Coleman –
“I felt low after the Wimbledon game (in 2016), but not as low as I felt after Stevenage three weeks earlier. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, they are both totally different sides and I am looking forward to the game. We know they can be a handful. We have Scott Brown, Mark Hughes, Sean McConville, Billy Kee, Piero Mingoia and Seamus Conneely still here from that game and they may still feel sore from it.
“The main emphasis for us though is to get that elusive first home win, no matter who we are playing. We need to take the lead, we have done well to come back and get something in seven out of our games this season, but we can’t keep falling behind as it won’t always happen. Connor Ripley (goalkeeper) is frustrated he hasn’t got a clean sheet.”
Team news -
Accrington pretty much have a clean bill of health. Striker Billy Kee has not reported any after effects of a foot injury that troubled him earlier in the season. Luke Charman is their only doubt with a minor quad muscle problem.
Neal Ardley is hopeful that James Hanson will be back available this weekend. Hanson returned to full training this week after struggling with a calf injury and so too did fellow forward Jake Jervis, who missed the midweek Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Swansea due to a hamstring injury. However, the manager does have one or two other doubts (Anthony Wordsworth and Kwesi Appiah) for Saturday's away game.
Last time out -
League One – Fleetwood Town 1, Accrington Stanley 1
Checkatrade Trophy – AFC Wimbledon 0, Swansea City U21s 1
Form guide -
(in all competitions, starting with most recent)
Accrington Stanley – DDDDWD
AFC Wimbledon - LLWWLL
Top scorers -
Accrington Stanley – Billy Kee and Sean McConville (3 each)
AFC Wimbledon – Joe Pigott (5)
Last meeting -
Overall, home and away between Accrington Stanley and AFC Wimbledon, Accy have the edge – having won six previous meetings. Wimbledon have won on three occasions There have been three draws between the two clubs - including the most recent match on 18 May, 2016 when the Dons booked their place in the Play-off final at Wembley.
You can see the highlights of the semi-final second leg below, via our official YouTube channel.
Cricketing connection -
Durham and England fast bowler Mark Wood will be looking out for the score at the Wham Stadium as a keen Wimbledon fan. Commentator David “Bumble” Lloyd, the former Lancashire and England batsman and England Coach, is a lifelong Accrington supporter and played for them during the 1960s.
Wimbledon supporters can pay on the day for this game at the away ticket office; situated in the blue cabin close to the away turnstiles (also where you can collect pre-booked tickets). Please see our previous article for further details.
Tune into live WDON match commentary from 3.00 pm tomorrow by accessing our subscription channel. For more information visit our designated iFollow page.