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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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23 November 2019 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

Wimbledon have added Forss for Gills clash

Top scorer returns and Wagstaff set to wear captain's arm band against previous club

22 November 2019

Finnish Under-21 international striker Marcus Forss returns to the Wimbledon squad for Saturday’s League One meeting with Gillingham at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.

The EFL Young Player of the Month for October (pictured centre, with Ashley Bayes and Scott Wagstaff) is back in contention having missed the midweek FA Cup replay defeat at Doncaster, as parent club Brentford don’t want him cup-tied.

“It’s going to be similar with what we took to Doncaster,” said Wimbledon Manager Glyn Hodges. “Marcus Forss can come back in to contention. I was hoping Michael Folivi (groin) would be back, but it’s looking like he might not be. He's been completing his rehab back at Watford.

“Jack Rudoni, who was cup-tied in midweek, is in and around it, but we’ve got enough fit bodies now. We’ve got a big enough squad with quality to get the job done.

“Rod McDonald (knee) is pencilled in for next Tuesday. We’ve got a game at Molesey in the Surrey Senior Cup, so he’ll play in that. He’s chomping at the bit and telling me he is ready, so I think we need to look at him in one of those games first for peace of mind to see where he is with his recovery. If he gets through that game, then he is another name to add to the squad.”

Midfielder Ossama Ashley is also set to feature at Molesey next week, having made good progress after being ruled out long-term following an ACL reconstruction operation.  Striker Adam Roscrow has recovered from a thigh injury and is due to return to training next Monday, but Anthony Wordsworth remains sidelined with a calf strain.

With captain Will Nightingale ruled out for three to four months following surgery on his hip this week, Glyn has backed Scott Wagstaff to continue leading Wimbledon on the pitch as he comes up against his previous club tomorrow.

“Waggy has been great as captain,” said Glyn. “The players have a lot respect for him and he leads by example both on and off the pitch. You can see that all the boys look up to him. He has stepped into the shoes as captain and he will quite rightly keep the job. He has done a great job.

“It’s always nice to play against your old team, especially if you’ve moved recently. You never forget if you get the chance to play against your old side. You always want to show them what they are missing, or made a mistake in letting you go or if you’ve moved on to bigger and better things. You always want to show that. We’ve got Luke O’Neill and Callum Reilly too and I’m sure they’ll be doing their upmost, as we all will be, to get the three points.

“I remember John Leslie going to Gillingham! There’s been quite a few. Barry Fuller went the other way, so there’s another. There are many connections between the clubs over the years and we had a good test against them last season. We’ll be prepared and have a plan and put it to work.”

You can see the full interview with Glyn Hodges, including his early thoughts ahead of the January transfer window, via the link below to our official YouTube channel.

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Match Reports

Wagstaff strikes to earn first Dons win for a month

Dons dig in to earn three precious points

23 November 2019

A well-taken goal by Scott Wagstaff against his former club Gillingham earned an important victory for Wimbledon today.

Wimbledon's captain finished off a fine team move and that was enough to secure a 1-0 win - a first Dons victory since 19 October against Portsmouth. Last-ditch defending from Wimbledon's back-line and plenty of fighting spirit helped achieve a vital victory before Wimbledon go into an enforced break due to being out of the cup. In a frantic finale of Gills pressure late on, Ben Pringle was sent off for the visitors as Wimbledon closed in on victory.

Glyn Hodges made three changes to the Wimbledon side that had started the Emirates FA Cup defeat at Doncaster. Marcus Forss was straight back into the team in attack, the on-loan Brentford striker having not been permitted to play by his parent club in the cup. Kwesi Appiah therefore had to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench. Paul Kalambayi and Max Sanders were both restored to the side in place of Terell Thomas and Anthony Hartigan. Former Dons captain Barry Fuller was in the Gillingham side and it was another milestone for the experienced defender as he made his 500th  career start against his old club. Gillingham, now managed by Steve Evans, came into this match with eight points more than a Wimbledon side seeking a first win since the end of October.

Wimbledon had to withstand wave after wave of Gillingham pressure early on and it was credit to the back four and Nathan Trott that the score remained level. The first real chance came in the 10th minute when Brandon Hanlon shot from close-range, but Trott reacted well to save. Kalambayi then put his body on the line to stop a goal-bound shot, as Gills tested Wimbledon’s resilience. It was therefore against the run of play when Wimbledon made the breakthrough in the 20th minute. However, there was no doubting the quality of the move that led to the chance and the execution of the finish by Scott Wagstaff. Callum Reilly picked out Mitch Pinnock on the right and he switched the ball to the over-lapping Wagstaff, who slotted home superbly with his left foot.

Reilly and Wagstaff had both served Gillingham in the past and Wimbledon needed another former Gills player to make a key contribution shortly afterwards. Hanlon, who was a real handful in attack, powered through on goal, but Luke O’Neill got back quickly and made an impressive last-ditch block. Mikael Mandron then had a good chance, but he completely missed his kick. Gillingham came close again on the half hour with this time Ryan Delaney called upon to stop the visitors.  With Hanlon clean through on goal, Delaney just managed to get a tackle in and the ball squirmed wide of the target. Madron also headed over the crossbar as Gillingham continued to press for a goal.

The half-time whistle signalled a job well done so far from Wimbledon. The defensive resilience shown so far had been every bit as impressive as the quality of the first-half goal and Wimbledon were going to need more of the same in the second-half. Gillingham started the second-half on the front foot once again and the visitors claimed that one of their players had been shoved in the box by Pinnock, but the referee was unimpressed. Though the visitors continued to go forward, the defending was nowhere near as last-ditch as before the break. The Dons also exerted good pressure at the other end around the hour mark. Sanders sent over a lovely free-kick from the right that deserved a goal, but no one was able to get on the end of it. Kwesi Appiah’s first contribution after coming on as a substitute was to cause the visitors problems through the middle. The striker, who replaced Marcus Forss, was almost picked out by Joe Pigott, but the ball fell nicely for Pinnock and his shot was well saved by Gills keeper Jack Bonham.

As we progressed towards the 70th minute mark, Wimbledon had defended very well in the second-half, restricting the visitors to very little. Hanlon, who had a big battle with Kalambayi all day, had Gillingham’s best chance after the break when his marker misjudged the bounce, but he curled wide of the far post. As we entered the latter stages, both sides threatened. Pinnock did very well to find space and get in a cross to set-up Pigott, but his volley was just over. At the other end, Hanlon had a decent chance, but in fairness the angle was against him and he shot wide of the target.

Though Gillingham piled on the pressure in the final stages, Wimbledon held firm at the back, showing admirable spirit and graft to earn a hard-fought win.

AFC Wimbledon: Nathan Trott, Luke O’Neill, Scott Wagstaff, Mitch Pinnock, Marcus Forss (Kwesi Appiah), Ryan Delaney, Max Sanders, Paul Kalambayi, Callum Reilly, Paul Osew, Joe Pigott (Nesta Guinness-Walker).

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Ticket News

Match Details: Terrace tickets available for Saturday

All you need to know ahead of the visit from Gillingham

22 November 2019

AFC Wimbledon are back at home tomorrow after two weeks on the road, and we won’t be back in action for another fortnight after Saturday’s game against Gillingham.

The match is again set to mark the return of Wimbledon’s Promotion Play-off winning captain Barry Fuller (pictured). It’s one of only two opportunities to see The Dons at home before Christmas – so don’t miss out!

We’ll be delighted to welcome back our special guest – 1963 FA Amateur Cup winner Bobby Ardrey. We hope he enjoys his day with us.

It’s set to be another very busy match day at The Cherry Red Records Stadium and here’s your guide, if you’re thinking of spending your afternoon with The Dons!

Tickets

Wimbledon fans can still take their place on the RyGas Stand terrace, with tickets for the Chemflow End and seats in the Paul Strank and John Green Stands having sold out.

RyGas (standing)

Adults - £17

Concessions - £11

Under-18s - £4

Buy in advance up until 11.00 am on Saturday morning and collect from the white booth in Jack Goodchild Way. Alternatively, you can pay on the day.

Bars

These will be open from 12 noon tomorrow with a wide selection of drinks served, including a variety of real ales. Supporters are welcome to get here early and watch the live lunchtime match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur (12.30 pm kick-off) on TV screens. Manchester City versus Chelsea will be shown on TV screens from 5.30 pm. We will be pleased to welcome Gillingham supporters into the bar areas.

The Your Golf Travel Bar will have the following available: Plough Lane Ale, SW19 Summer Ale and Wimbledon XK. You can get Plough Lane Ale, Gallows Gold (Park) and Wimbledon XK from the back bar. Hot ciders are available in both bars.

Drinks available at the pop-up bar (inside the YGT Bar) are: Wimbledon Gold and Wimbledon Pale Ale.

Programme

Saturday’s edition, priced at £3, includes interviews with Gillingham's Barry Fuller and our promising striker Tommy Wood. There’s also an extensive interview with our left-back Paul Osew.

Dons Trust Kiosk

Supporters interested in the work of the Dons Trust can find out more by popping into the kiosk on Jack Goodchild Way before tomorrow’s game. Anna Kingsley and Rob Crane will be on hand to answer any of your questions.

Tickets for away game

Supporters can buy advance tickets for our next away match at Bolton Wanderers, which takes place on Saturday, 7 December. You can also buy tickets for the games against Tranmere Rovers on 21 December and Bristol Rovers on 26 December and book a place on the supporters’ coach by visiting the complimentary tickets window before tomorrow’s game or for a short spell afterwards.

Silent auction

The annual Silent Auction concludes this Saturday in the main Your Golf Travel bar between 12.30 pm and 2.15 pm ahead of the Gillingham game, but you can get your online bids in now. Simply e-mail rayarmfield@aol.com with your name, contact details, the lot number of the item below and how much you want to bid.

Online bidding will close at 11.59 on Friday night, before the auction’s ‘live’ finale the following day. If you bid online and are subsequently outbid, we will inform you as soon as we can.

As well as plenty of AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon FC-related lots, there are also personally signed items from former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, cricket superstars Jofra Archer, Joe Root and Rory Burns, 2003 England Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson, plus the ever-popular Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters from the greatest day in England football history in 1966.

Toy appeal

AFC Wimbledon Foundation is delighted to be working jointly with the Paul Strank Charitable Trust in launching the Annual Christmas Appeal, which is raising money to fund equipment for Shooting Star Children's Hospices and collecting toys for the Children's Wing at St George's Hospital.

The Foundation will also be organising a toy collection point before Saturday’s match at the side of the Dons Kiosk, from 1.00 – 2.45 pm and again before the Doncaster game on 14 December.

The AFC Wimbledon Foundation, as well as some first-team players, will be visiting St George's on 16 December to deliver the toys and gifts. Any toys donated after this point will be taken with us to Shooting Stars Children's Hospice, which we are visiting on 20 December, for the annual Christmas Party.

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