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29 November 2020 Venue Plough Lane Attendance

Kick off 13:30 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Previews

Preview: Glyn and Ollie on today’s special FA Cup tie

Quotes from both managers and a look back at previous Dons versus Crawley matches

29 November 2020

AFC Wimbledon’s first FA Cup tie at Plough Lane in almost 30 years takes place today against Crawley Town – and the Dons will be seeking a similar outcome to three decades ago.

On 9 January 1991, Wimbledon won a third round replay 1-0 against Aston Villa in the final minute of extra-time with a goal by Alan Cork. Fast forward almost 30 years and the Dons will be aiming to earn a place in the third round of the famous competition by winning our first FA Cup tie since moving into a new stadium at Plough Lane. Old foes Crawley, a club Wimbledon had many memorable battles with in non league days, stand in the way, of achieving that objective. Dannie Bulman and George Francomb, two of our 2016 promotion heroes, are both at Crawley, but they have not been in the match day squads recently. 

Below are quotes from both managers, plus plenty more key information, ahead of today’s game (1.30 pm kick-off).

Glyn Hodges

“We’ve had to put teams out recently that were capable of winning every game and we’ve won two out of the three games, which is great. With all the hard work we’ve put in, we have to make sure that we get into that third round on Sunday. We understand what it means to our fans, the FA Cup is special to this club, and it’s special to have an FA Cup tie at Plough Lane. We know how long it has been since the club had an FA Cup tie there.”

Ollie Palmer

“Our focus is on Crawley - I can’t wait for it. We want to get the job done there, and then it’s Peterborough at home after that. It has been a tough couple of weeks and everyone has been involved. That is going to be the case for the next few weeks.

“It will be a tough game as Crawley are a hard-working team, John Yems is doing well there, and we will have to be right at it, but I fully believe we can go through to the third round.

“Getting fans back into the stadiums is key. As players, you want to play in front of the biggest crowds possible. At the moment, we don’t want to think about the third round yet, as we have to focus on Crawley.”

John Yems

“It will be a very tough game. They have very good football people at the club with the manager and the staff there. The FA Cup is not a distraction because you want to do well in it, but there are no points on offer and it’s all done on the day, so you just have to go for broke with it.

“It’s no secret that we’ve had a few injuries, and it’s not an excuse, but everyone has to be used. We have three games coming up now with Colchester on Tuesday and Saturday away at Mansfield. People keep telling me about a big squad, but we haven’t got an Under-23s team, so a lot of the squad are still learning the game as they are young players, but you know all of this when you come into the job. You do the job the best that you can, but you have to look beyond this season for a lot of the players.”

The last meeting

Wimbledon last faced Crawley on 16 April 2016, a goal by Paul Robinson earning a 1-0 victory. The win was vital to the Dons at the time as Neal Ardley’s men moved closer to reaching the League Two play-offs, which ended in that memorable promotion party at Wembley. Going further back, a 2-1 home win against Crawley in September 2010 is warmly remembered by Dons supporters. At the time, Crawley were the big spenders in non league football and they had attempted to sign Danny Kedwell, but he stayed with the Dons – and scored the winner! Sam Hatton had earlier equalised after Crawley had taken the lead through Matt Tubbs.  

Take a look below at the highlights from both of those memorable matches.

How they reached the second round

Crawley reached this stage in thrilling fashion, getting the better of an 11-goal thriller at Torquay United. Tom Nichols cracked a hat-trick for Crawley, who won it 6-5 in extra-time through an 118th minute goal by Ashley Nadesan. Of course, the Dons made it into the second round by winning a penalty shoot-out at Barrow on Thursday night.

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

Wimbledon DLWDDD

Crawley LLDLWL

Last time out

Barrow 0-0 Wimbledon (Dons won 4-2 on penalties after extra-time)

Crawley 1-2 Grimsby

Match coverage

Dons supporters will be able to keep in touch with the action from Plough Lane by using the BBC red button, via the channel’s iPlayer service. Please note, as Wimbledon’s FA Cup tie has been selected for broadcast coverage, it will not be available to stream via iFollow, or any other of the club's online channels. Only Emirates FA Cup Second Round fixtures not selected for coverage on BBC or BT Sport platforms will be streamed on the EFL’s iFollow streaming service.

Our commentators Mikey T and Rob Cornell will be commentating live from Plough Lane, and iFollow subscribers can listen to full coverage. Audio match passes will be available on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Joe on target again, but Wimbledon exit the Cup

Visitors Crawley deny The Dons a third round tie

29 November 2020

Joe Pigott gave The Dons the lead, but hopes of a glamour FA Cup third round tie in the New Year at Plough Lane were extinguished as visitors Crawley turned the match around.

Top scorer Pigott headed Wimbledon in front in the first half, only for Ashley Nadesan to level shortly after and Max Watters to strike what would be a decisive blow early in the second half, as the League Two club went on to win 2-1.

Glyn Hodges made six changes to the line-up that started at Barrow in the previous round on Thursday night. Connal Trueman returned in goal, Ben Heneghan slotted back into central defence, while Shane McLoughlin and Steve Seddon were restored as wing backs. Callum Reilly returned to his central midfield role, with Joe Pigott wearing the captain’s arm band up front alongside former Crawley front man Ollie Palmer.

Dannie Bulman, part of our successful promotion play-off winning side at Wembley in 2016, started for the visitors, but George Francomb could only look on from the stand as he was sidelined due to injury.

Palmer was keen to open the scoring after just seven minutes, but in getting to the ball he was adjudged to have climbed over the back of Jordan Tunnicliffe in a low-key start to the game. Crawley’s first real attempt on goal came just after the quarter of the hour mark, but Wimbledon managed to clear a low shot from Jack Powell.

Anthony Hartigan, playing his fourth game in just over a week, tested Glenn Morris in the Crawley goal as he was forced to punch clear a free kick from outside the area in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, Wimbledon’s early pressure gained the advantage when an accurate cross by Ethan Chislett was met by a bullet header from Pigott for his seventh goal of the season.

However, it wasn’t a lead Wimbledon were able to hold on to for long though. Ashley Nadesan got the better of a static Dons defence and beat Connal Trueman to level the scores on the half hour for Crawley. A closely fought cup tie remained level at the break.

Crawley made the better start to the second half and Max Watters blasted the visitors into the lead in the 49th minute, driving the ball past Trueman as The Dons defence failed to clear. Skipper Joe Pigott led the Wimbledon response with a fine effort from 20 yards out that forced Morris to make the save. Thomas headed over the resulting corner in the 53rd minute.

Steve Seddon managed to force another corner five minutes later, which Crawley eventually managed to clear as The Dons went in search of an equaliser. Just after the hour mark, Ryan Longman replaced Palmer up front for the hosts. The young Brighton loanee aimed to make an immediate impact by getting on the ball down the wing.

With just under twenty minutes to go, Glyn introduced the in-form Jack Rudoni for Chislett. However, despite further pressure from Wimbledon they still couldn’t come up with a second goal. Cheye Alexander replaced Shane McLoughlin with just nine minutes remaining and our cup hopes dwindling.

Wimbledon had further possession in the closing stages, but were unable to take the tie to extra-time and our involvement in this season’s FA Cup disappointingly came to an end after four minutes of added time.

AFC Wimbledon: Trueman, Csoka, Thomas, Hartigan, Palmer (Longman), Chislett (Rudoni), McLoughlin (Alexander), Heneghan, Reilly, Pigott (c) and Seddon.

Pic credit: Matt Redman (Pro Sports Images).

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