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15 September 2018 Venue The Cherry Red Records Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Neal keen to focus on Wimbledon's strengths

Views from both managers ahead of the Dons v Scunthorpe

14 September 2018

AFC Wimbledon's resolve will tomorrow be tested by a familiar foe aiming to revitalise regular promotion challengers, but Neal Ardley is eager to concentrate on the talents of his own players.

Stuart McCall, who came up against Wimbledon on several occasions as Bradford City boss, will take charge of his first away game as Scunthorpe United manager after an eventful first match in charge last Saturday. In contrast to Wimbledon's impressive clean sheet in victory at Gillingham, The Iron conceded three against Rochdale in an entertaining 3-3 draw at Glanford Park.

Below are quotes from both managers, plus stats, ahead of tomorrow's game.

Neal Ardley:

"Obviously, they've lost a manager earlier in the season and Stuart has come in. He will want to get his own ideas across. They are a big club and they've always put a lot of work into trying to get into the play-offs. They are a team that expect to be in the top half of League One, so we are facing a tough challenge. There are no easy games in this league, we know that, but we are at home, and we've managed to stop the rot a little bit with the 1-0 win last week. We want to try and build some momentum.

"Stuart has shown that he is a good manager. You go back to the Bradford team that got to the play-offs and they were beaten by Millwall in the final. Last season they just had that run where they could not get out of a rut and unfortunately he lost his job. Stuart obviously showed that he knows what he's doing and he will get this Scunthorpe team at it, of that I'm sure. They are very strong and they've been strong from set pieces lately, so we have to be mindful of that.

"They have loads of threats, but I could go through every team and find things that would cause us problems. What I would rather do is, and what we've tried to focus on this year, is solely on us and how we play. We try to be brilliant at being us and if we can do that we believe we can give every team a game."

Stuart McCall:

"It's a difficult place to go, but we need to make sure from that first whistle to the end that we're right up for it. We had an hour-long meeting on Tuesday morning just to go through certain things. Obviously, we conceded three goals but I just think we've been a little bit easy to play against all season. Not only did Rochdale get three goals, but they had a couple of other really good chances. We were unfortunate with a couple of deflections but we can generally defend a lot better. We were quite strong aerially when it came to balls into the box, but it was the little second balls and when they're playing in and around the box where we need to improve.

"We have to be better in possession going forward. We were penned in, and you will be against Rochdale when they launch balls forward to (Aaron) Wilbraham. Once it lands, we need to show more composure and courage. We brought a lot of pressure on ourselves and went too deep, which I think is a psychological thing because we hadn't won here this season, and were then 2-0 up against Barnsley before being pegged back.

"I'm a coach who looks at how we can win games, rather than not getting beaten, so as much as we've been doing the defensive side of it, we've also been working in the attacking third as well. In the first-half last week, we were okay, but I think there's much more to come from us. I want us to have far more possession and create more opportunities. We have to get down to Wimbledon, tackle, head, battle and do whatever it takes to keep a clean sheet and then have that quality going the other way."

Team news

Neal Ardley was set to check on the fitness of Tom Soares (hamstring), Scott Wagstaff (calf) and James Hanson (calf) before picking a squad for tomorrow. For Scunthorpe, Matthew Lund and Lee Novak have shrugged off knocks, but Jordan Clarke and Rory McArdle are both doubtful.

Last time out

Gillingham 0-1 AFC Wimbledon

Scunthorpe 3-3 Rochdale

Form guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)

AFC Wimbledon WDLLLL

Scunthorpe United DDDDLL

Last meeting (Saturday 7 April 2018)

AFC Wimbledon 1 (Nightingale 4)

Scunthorpe United 1 (Novak 84)

Click on the link below to watch highlights from that game.

Tickets

We still have availability for the Chemflow End and the RyGas terrace. Buy from our online ticket shop until 11.00 am tomorrow morning and collect from the white booth in Jack Goodchild Way. Alternatively, you can pay on the day for this match.

iFollow

Tune into live WDON match commentary from 3.00 pm tomorrow by tuning into iFollow. Access is through our subscription channel and you can access more information by visiting our designated iFollow page.

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Match Reports

Dons fall just short after thrilling second-half rally

Goals from Trotter and Appiah not enough to earn a point

15 September 2018

An impressive second-half fightback from AFC Wimbledon just failed to yield a share of the spoils against Scunthorpe United today.

Wimbledon had a mountain to climb at 2-0 down before half-time, but headed goals from Liam Trotter and Kwesi Appiah in a rousing second-half threatened to turn it around. However, the visitors edged home 3-2 with Wimbledon's defending for the goals proving costly. 

In the end, Neal Ardley's men paid the price for a below-par first-half display, which was in stark contrast to a second-half when the Dons created chance after chance.

With the Dons having earned a valuable away victory last time out, Neal Ardley made just one enforced change to his starting line-up. James Hanson missed out due to a calf injury and that meant a recall for Kwesi Appiah, who was aiming to add to his only goal of the season so far against Walsall. Stuart McCall took charge of his first away game since being appointed as Scunthorpe manager, his home bow having ended in a 3-3 draw against Rochdale last Saturday. The visitors had familiar threats in their line-up, including Lee Novak, who scored a late equaliser here last season.

Wimbledon attempted to make an all-action start, but instead the Dons found themselves 1-0 down in just the eighth minute. Josh Morris swung in a dangerous free-kick from the right flank that looped over Tom King and into the back of the net. In response, Andy Barcham attempted to get the Dons going against one of his former clubs. The flying winger produced a powerful surge down the left, before getting in a cross that was scrambled clear with appeals for handball in the area turned down by referee Charlie Breakspear.

The Dons continued to put pressure on as we approached the midway point of the first-half, forcing corners and free-kicks, but Scunthorpe defended stoutly, in particular when Scott Wagstaff put in a dangerous cross. The first-half was overshadowed by an injury to a Scunthorpe player with on-loan Manchester United full-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson having to be stretchered off after a clash of heads in the box. The game was held up for six minutes to allow the stretcher bearers to do their jobs and Borthwick-Jackson received applause from all sides of the ground as he departed.

Neal Ardley’s men had a mountain to climb in the 33rd minute when Scunthorpe doubled the advantage through a breakaway goal. Following a Dons attack at the other end, the ball was worked quickly to Matthew Lund, who delivered an inch-perfect defence-splitting pass for Morris to go through on goal and he produced a clinical finish that left King with no chance. It was proving tough for Wimbledon to get back into this, but Deji Oshilaja’s header forced Jak Alnwick into his first save. Then a ball into the box was only half cleared and it fell nicely for Rod McDonald, but he blazed over the crossbar. Despite eight minutes of injury-time, Wimbledon were unable to make much of an impression against a well drilled Scunthorpe defence.

With a 2-0 half-time deficit, Wimbledon really needed a good start to the second-half and that’s exactly what happened as the Dons stormed forward searching for a way back into it. The deficit was halved in style in the 50th minute when Tennai Watson delivered a lovely cross from the right that Liam Trotter met with a lovely header past Alnwick. It was game on now and a fine Wimbledon move ended with a good shooting chance for Kwesi Appiah, but he shot wide. Just when a Wimbledon equaliser appeared to be imminent, Scunthorpe earned the cushion of a third goal, just two minutes after Wimbledon’s first. Ryan Colclough found space on the Wimbledon left and sent over a low cross that Ike Ugbo steered home from close-range.

Having conceded so quickly after getting back into the match, it would have been easy for heads to go down among the Wimbledon team, but the Dons stormed back to earn a second goal. It was a cracking goal too with Ben Purrington sending over a lovely cross from the left that Appiah met with a soaring header that left Alnwick with no chance. That was the signal for Wimbledon to pour forward. At times it was like pinball in the box with Scunthorpe hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Twice in quick succession Scunthorpe managed to just clear their lines after goalmouth scrambles and then Charlie Goode made a stunning last-gasp block to deny Appiah’s goal-bound effort. It looked to be a matter of time for a Wimbledon equaliser and substitute Mitch Pinnock curled just wide after a fine move. The Dons then twice came so close to a leveller in quick succession. Alnwick reacted brilliantly to stop a headed own goal, before Oshilaja’s header was cleared off the line.

The Dons really deserved a third goal, but Scunthorpe continued to defend desperately, last-ditch blocks and clearances keeping them in front as we entered the latter stages. With five minutes remaining, Wimbledon came close again when Oshilaja headed just over after a corner was well delivered into the box by Pinnock. Despite Wimbledon pressure, Scunthorpe had weathered the storm and the Dons were unable to create the late chances to threaten an equaliser. The improved second-half display had perhaps warranted a point, but it was just not to be in the end.

AFC Wimbledon: Tom King, Tennai Watson (Toby Sibbick), Ben Purrington, Deji Oshilaja, Scott Wagstaff (Jake Jervis), Kwesi Appiah, Liam Trotter, Andy Barcham (Mitch Pinnock), Tom Soares, Rod McDonald, Joe Pigott.  

Pic credit: Matt Redman, Pro Sports Images.

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Ticket News

Match Details: Support the Dons on return to home turf

Terrace tickets left to show your support for Neal's boys

14 September 2018

AFC Wimbledon's first home match this month is against Scunthorpe United tomorrow and tickets are available to cheer on Neal Ardley's men.

Following three matches on the road so far in September, the Dons are back at the Cherry Red Records Stadium and aiming to earn maximum points for the first time at home this season.

Almost 1,000 travelling Dons roared the team onto a vital win at Gillingham and more of that great support can help make a difference in pursuit of a first home victory in 2018/19.

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

Tickets

Buy now for the popular Chemflow terrace with tickets still currently available via our online ticket shop. Terrace tickets for the RyGas terrace (just £17 for adults) can also be purchased using the above link. Advance tickets are available until 11 am on Saturday and they can be collected pre-match from the white booth in Jack Goodchild Way. Alternatively, tickets will be available on the day for this game.

Programme

Tomorrow's edition is well worth adding to your collection as it features exclusive interviews, news, and features. Find out what alternative career our new centre-back Rod McDonald almost pursued before getting his big football break. As well as an extensive interview with Rod, Alan Reeves provides an insight into his coaching methods, as he seeks to bring through more players from his development squad into the first-team.

Bars

These will be open from 12 noon tomorrow with a wide range of drinks served. Live football will be shown on TV screens with Spurs v Liverpool on from 12.30 pm and Watford v Man United at 5.30 pm. We will be pleased to welcome Scunthorpe United supporters into the bar areas. A cracking array of ales are available in the bars and these are as follows:

Main Bar

Plough Lane Ale

Copper Leaf Autumn Ale

SW19 Summer Ale

Back bar

Plough Lane Ale

Wimbledon Common

SW19 Summer Ale

We will have extra bar facilities at tomorrow's game and these are listed below:

Outside Bar

This will be open from 1.00 pm and situated by the back bar, underneath the awning. We will be serving Bud Light, Stella Artois, Magners and Magners Dark Fruits at our normal bar prices.

Bottle concessions

Located at the old turnstiles by our Club Shop we are launching a plastic bottle concession serving Budweiser, Stella Artois, Fosters and Magners as well as bottled water and other soft drinks.

Beer and cider bottles will be available for £3.50 per bottle or two for £6! Additionally, bottled water will be priced at £1.50 and other soft drinks at £2.

Travel disruption

Due to an RMT strike on South Western Railway tomorrow, routes towards Norbiton train station will be affected. There will be a reduced service to Norbiton and we urge supporters travelling in by train to check the SWT website for more information. Visit the designated page on their website all about the strikes and how it will affect your route.

Dons Trust kiosk and membership cards

DT 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 Matthew Breach and Tim Hillyer about the work of the board generally or their own specific roles. Matt is Vice Chair of the Trust and a member of the board's Oversight and Strategy & Organisation committees. Tim is a member of the board's Operations and Strategy & Organisation committees. 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 the DT no longer collect printer cartridges.

Dons Trust membership cards will be available for collection from our Membership Secretary outside the back bar. Collecting these cards in person helps save the Trust's administration costs, and we encourage Dons Trust members attending the match to collect their membership cards in person.

Catering

Try out a tasty panini at the game! Look out for our mobile panini sandwich sellers, who will be handing out piping hot samples from 2.00pm outside the stadium and in the bars.

During the game, panini sandwich sellers will be circulating throughout the stadium.

The Menu

• Ham & Cheese panini £4

• Fiery Chicken panini £4

• Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Mozzarella and Roasted Peppers panini £4

• Soft Drink Bottles £2

• Bottled Water £1.50

In addition, hot panini sandwiches will be on sale from the food kiosk by the Chemflow End and RyGas Stand.

Tickets for away games

Supporters can buy tickets for the games at Accrington Stanley (Saturday 22 September) and Blackpool (Saturday 20 October). Buy before the game from the complimentary tickets window and for a short time afterwards. Places on the supporters' coach can also be booked for both games.

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