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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

10 August 2019 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Wally demands more at Fleetwood

Views from both camps, plus team news, ahead of match at Fleetwood

9 August 2019

Wally Downes is demanding a much sharper start at Fleetwood on Saturday after a first-half against Rotherham that fell below the standards he expects.

Highbury Stadium was a happy hunting ground for Wimbledon last season with two victories at Fleetwood, but Joey Barton’s side are expected to stage a stronger challenge for promotion this time around. The Dons triumphed 1-0 on the opening day of 2018/19 at Fleetwood, thanks to a Joe Pigott winner, and there was a memorable FA Cup victory in January at the same venue (the picture above shows Anthony Hartigan celebrating his goal in that game).

Below are quotes from both camps, plus team news, and more, ahead of Saturday’s match.

Wally Downes:

“I have good memories of going up there in the cup, it was a great game, but the Fleetwood game at home was one that made me decide that we had to play differently. It was the start of a good run after that, but it was a very disappointing result on the night.

“We were flexible with our formation last season, I didn’t start off the way we finished, but we got into a rhythm towards the end of the season and I didn’t want to take that away from the team. I have lots of options with the players I’ve got, to play different formations within the framework of the 90 minutes. Depending upon the score-line, I won’t be afraid to change the formation. If we are winning and we need to bolster the midfield, or if we are losing I can change it. I have lots of options.

“There is no point us going 1-0 down and thinking, ‘now we have to pull our fingers out’ and it’s no good us getting on a bad run and being down the bottom of the league. I’ve said to the team that we have to start the season strong and finish the season strong. It’s no good waiting for bad things to happen before we decide to start playing. We’ve got to put ourselves under pressure at 0-0, start the season with a blank sheet and have that pressure of succeeding. The onus is on us as a group to be successful.

“We will have to be as resilient as we were in the second-half against Rotherham and we will have to pay more attention to detail on our set plays. You can put a little bit of rustiness down to the first game, but that would be shelving the responsibility. We’ve had six weeks to prepare for that and to start the first-half the way we did was disappointing. In the second-half we showed we can compete with teams at this level, but we know we’ve got to be bang at it all the time.”

Clint Hill (Fleetwood Assistant Manager)

“They were a bogey team at home for us last year. We went to their place last season and played well, but the other games did not go well. We know what they are about. They will be very organised and have a good bit of legs in their team; quite quick, motivated. They will possibly play a 5-3-2 so it will be difficult for us but, every game in this league you need to prepare for because teams want to come at you, so we just set our stall out.

“We pretty much came out of the game on Saturday and the (Blackpool) friendly with no kind of injuries. The lads who have the shirt at the minute, at the moment it’s theirs. (Kyle) Dempsey has trained the last few days and he feels really good so everyone is back on the mend and on the grass. No one is in that treatment room, which is good. There are players who are a week or two away from actually trying to start games. Other than that everyone is really good.”

Team News

Wally Downes said that he will not be rushing Anthony Wordsworth (achilles tendon) back from injury and goalkeeper Nathan Trott (groin) is still out, though he is making good progress in his recuperation. Fleetwood will have Nathan Sheron back in contention after he missed the Peterborough trip through suspension. New signing Ched Evans, who has joined from Sheffield United after a prolific loan spell at Fleetwood last season, could be involved.

Last time out

AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Rotherham United

Peterborough United 1-3 Fleetwood Town

Our last visit to Highbury Stadium

Fleetwood 2-3 AFC Wimbledon (5 January 2019)

Goals from Andy Barcham and Anthony Hartigan put Wimbledon well in charge of this Emirates FA Cup third round tie, but the Cod Army scored quick-fire second-half goals through Paddy Madden and Ched Evans to level matters at 2-2. However, just when a replay seemed inevitable, Kwesi Appiah fired home a superb strike to earn a place in the fourth round of the famous knockout competition. Fleetwood avenged the defeat with a 3-0 win at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, just four days before The Dons memorably knocked out Premier League side West Ham. Relive that great win by watching the highights from that game.


Dons supporters can buy in advance up until 3.00 pm on Friday, or pay on the day. See our previous article for more details.

Match day coverage

Our WDON commentators Mikey T and Rob Cornell will be providing live coverage from Highbury Stadium. Visit our iFollow channel to access live audio commentary. Overseas subscribers to iFollow can watch the match live on our subscription service.

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Match Reports

Dons let the lead slip in defeat at Fleetwood

A second successive loss for Wimbledon

10 August 2019

AFC Wimbledon failed to build on Kwesi Appiah's first-half opener with Fleetwood coming from behind to take all three points.

Follwing a first-half when Wimbledon produced a resilient display in stormy conditions, Fleetwood hit back in the second-half and eventually earned a 2-1 victory at Highbury Stadium. Though it was a fortuitous winner from Josh Morris, there was no luck about Fleetwood's much-improved second-half display that ended up meriting victory. 

Wally Downes made two changes to his starting 11 with one of those enforced as Will Nightingale was ruled out with a knee injury. Mitch Pinnock earned a recall to the side with Kwesi Appiah preferred in attack to Michael Folivi. The Dons were aiming for a repeat of last season’s league victory at Fleetwood, which came just over a year ago. It was completely different conditions this time around in August though with the match played in heavy rain and wind at Highbury Stadium.

The Dons had to withstand early pressure with Fleetwood choosing the direct approach. Crosses and long throws were launched into the area, but Wimbledon defended resiliently. The hosts had big appeals for a penalty turned down by the referee, who adjudged that Terell Thomas had not handled Conor McAleny’s shot. At the other end, Wimbledon started to put together attacks and Appiah headed home emphatically after getting on the end of a free-kick from Luke O’Neill, but the flag was up for offside.

Goalmouth incidents had been rare in the first 20 minutes, the stormy conditions at Highbury Stadium hardly conducive to good football. However, a moment of real quality provided Wimbledon with the lead in the 25th minute. Luke O’Neill delivered a lovely cross from the right that picked out Appiah and he headed home emphatically. It was a lovely finish from a player who had scored the winner here at Highbury Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup in January. Barely a minute later, Wimbledon could have been celebrating a second. This time Appiah turned provider, setting up Paul Kalambayi, but he shot wide of the target.

It took until 10 minutes before half-time for the hosts to offer any sort of threat, McAleny’s shot over the crossbar bringing applause of encouragement from Fleetwood manager Joey Barton on the touchline, but it was comfortably off target. In a half of few chances, Wimbledon stood firm at the back and offered a combative edge in midfield to stop Fleetwood gaining any attacking momentum. Anthony Hartigan provided an example of that, going in for a challenge with Jordan Rossiter that resulted in a booking for the Fleetwood midfielder. Hartigan also had a goal-bound shot blocked as Wimbledon ended the half strongly, going in with a 1-0 lead at the break.

Fleetwood started the second-half at a much higher tempo and it needed good tracking back from Callum Reilly to stop substitute Paddy Madden from going clean through. Shortly afterwards, Madden did shoot just wide after good play by Josh Morris down Fleetwood’s right flank. However, it was just a temporary reprieve for Wimbledon as the hosts restored parity in the 55th minute. A Fleetwood move down the right ended with Wes Burns cutting the ball back for Madden, who made  no mistake from close range. Chances followed at both ends, as the pace of the game increased. Just after Danny Andrew shot wide with a free-kick, Pigott had a chance 12 yards out, but his effort was wide.

Wimbledon had struggled to get possession during the second-half as Fleetwood really started to turn the screw and the hosts earned the lead in the 65th minute. A cross from Josh Morris was curled in from the right and the wind swept the ball past Nik Tzanev in the Wimbledon goal. There was no let-up from the hosts as they continued to pile forward. In a big contrast to the first-half, Wimbledon were unable to stem the tide and only last-ditch defending stopped both Burns and Madden from increasing the advantage, before McAleny shot over the crossbar.

In a second-half when Wimbledon struggled to create anything of note, Morris shot over the crossbar at the other end. Wally Downes tried to influence matters by making attacking changes with Dylan Connolly among those introduced and he almost managed to get in on goal, but he was just stopped by a last-ditch tackle. The Dons were unable to exert any real attacking pressure in the latter stages and Fleetwood held on for a narrow victory. It was achieved in a match clearly affected by the elements, but the conditions were the same for both sides and Wally Downes was certainly making no excuses afterwards.

AFC  Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Luke O’Neill, Terell Thomas, Rod McDonald (Dylan Connolly), Paul Kalambayi, Nesta Guinness-Walker, Anthony Hartigan (Shane McLoughlin), Mitch Pinnock, Callum Reilly, Kwesi Appiah, Joe Pigott (Michael Folivi).


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Ticket News

Fleetwood: Ticket & Travel details

Tickets available in advance or on the day

7 August 2019

AFC Wimbledon's first away match of the season is at Fleetwood on Saturday and more of your great support will be appreciated by Wally's boys up in Lancashire.

The Dons last season came away from the Fylde Coast with all three points, thanks to a winner from Joe Pigott, and a similar outcome will be most welcome this time around.

Wimbledon supporters can buy tickets from our online ticket shop. Advance tickets are available until 3.00 pm on Friday, and you can collect from Highbury Stadium pre-match. Alternatively, you can pay on the day at the same prices as in advance. 

Places on the supporters' coach are also available (see bottom of this page for more details).

Ticket prices are available below:

Terraces (Percy Ronson Stand)

  • Adult £22
  • Over-65s £17
  • Under-25 £17
  • Under-16s £7
  • Under-5s FREE

Seating (Parkside Stand)

  • Adult £24
  • Over-65 £19
  • Under-25s £19
  • Under-16s £8
  • Under-5s FREE

Tickets for disabled supporters are available at the full price for each age category with a carer admitted free. Please e-mail for information.

Supporters' Coach

The coach will leave from opposite South Wimbledon tube station at 7.00 am and from The Cherry Red Records Stadium at 7.30 am. The price is £28 and places can be booked by contacting 020 8547 3528.

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