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23 April 2022 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Double fitness boost for the Dons

Defensive duo bolster Mark Bowen's options as we head to Fleetwood

22 April 2022

Defenders Paul Osew and Dan Csoka gave Manager Mark Bowen a double fitness boost, ahead of Saturday’s big game at Fleetwood.

Both sides need the win in the battle to retain League One status, and our travelling squad has been bolstered with the return of the defensive duo.

“Dan and Paul trained for the first time on Thursday,” said Mark. “They both came through the session okay, so they will be ready for selection and in the frame for Saturday.”

“I’ve got a labral tear in my hip joint,” said Dan. “It’s quite common in footballers, but it’s not too serious because it’s not a muscle or tendon injury.”

“With me, it was patellar tendinitis,” explained Paul. “I had a very sore knee and couldn’t even run; it was that painful. I got an X-ray and luckily there was nothing to see, just bruises and swelling. I’ve trained, felt a bit sore, but all good.”

Mark also offered a glimmer of hope regarding skipper Alex Woodyard, who left Easter Monday’s draw with Wycombe on crutches due to a calf injury.

“We’re still assessing it,” said Mark. “It sounds like a cliché but let’s see if he is a quick healer, then I’m sure he’ll be pushing himself to be in the frame for the game on Saturday. I’ve already said to Woody that even if he doesn’t make it, he’s going to be on that train and that coach travelling up with us. I feel in the short time that I’ve been here that it’s a tight unit and all hands on deck for the weekend.”

Watch the latest interview with Mark Bowen and highlights of Thursday’s training session below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.

However, we will have to do without the attacking options of Zach Robinson and Aaron Cosgrave.

“Zach’s season is finished,” said Mark. “He had the hamstring injury and although with those sorts of things there’s talk of four weeks, and I’ve seen and had worse, but even that timescale doesn’t give him any time to recover.

“Aaron is certainly out of this weekend. Then you’re going into next week and the fact that he’s been out for that long. Really, in my mind, I’ve ruled him out of the last game against Accrington as well.

“My rhetoric to the players is to not think so much about the second game. First and foremost, it’s one game, it’s a cup final or a semi-final – whatever you want to call it. We’re going up to Fleetwood and we’ve got to try and get the job done on Saturday.

“It’s important not to get wrapped up in the occasion of the game. Yes, it’s a game we’ve got to win. It’s also a game I feel that Fleetwood have got to win, so it balances out. We’ve just got to make sure that we go there with a game plan, we work to that, and we’re calm in the way we assess it. I believe if we do our jobs right, like we did on Monday, then that’ll be the platform we need to go and get the result.”

After another tough training session, watch what happened when Assistant Eddie Niedzwiecki put our attacking options through their paces and also raised a few smiles!

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Match Reports

Wimbledon all but down after draw

Points shared at Highbury Stadium

23 April 2022

AFC Wimbledon were cruelly denied all three points at Fleetwood Town after the opposition were handed an equaliser that they barely had to work hard for.

On a day of high stakes it had all been going to plan for Mark Bowen’s side after Luke McCormick finished off a well worked team move superbly.

This saw us go in at half-time a goal to the good and with other results across the division also going in our favour, it looked for all the world like we were going to get the victory that we have all craved for so long.

However, disaster struck for the Dons after Nik Tzanev was penalised, apparently for taking an extra touch prior to a free kick being taken. This led to Fleetwood being handed a set piece of their own and Joe Garner fired home the resulting effort, as we essentially shot ourselves in the foot.

It was a setback that we mentally couldn’t recover from and in the end a tense and lengthy portion of injury time led to no further goals and as a result gave us a score line that did us far more harm than good.

Our League One status is now as good as gone, barring a big mathematical swing, and as a result we must now take stock as a collective and look to pick this proud club up once more.

Mark Bowen made one enforced change to the side which drew 1-1 with Wycombe Wanderers on Easter Monday as Anthony Hartigan came into the midfield in place of the injured Alex Woodyard. Meanwhile Dapo Mebude was named amongst the substitutes.

The boisterous Wimbledon contingent were shoehorned into the far corner of the main stand for this game, offering their usual vocal backing from the off as we set about looking to take the match by the scruff of the neck.

There was an early sighter for the hosts, with Anthony Pilkington seeing his shot deflected by Paul Kalambayi into the hands of Tzanev, who did well to adjust. The Cod Army then went even closer shortly after as Josh Harrop fired wide.

That let-off seemed to fire the Dons into life and soon enough we took the lead. A lovely, crafted move, started by Jack Rudoni’s flick header, led to Ayoub Assal getting in behind, before the midfielder’s cut back was expertly laid off for McCormick to guide the ball expertly into the top corner. It was the only real moment of quality in the opening 45 minutes, and it gave us a platform to build upon heading into the second period.

George Marsh was continuing to thrive in his newly appointed role of right wing back, whilst the likes of McCormick, Rudoni and Assal worked their socks off continuously to press Fleetwood into mistakes. The back three also continued to stand up resolutely as we approached the final 15 minutes of the contest, with Lee Brown offering a good outlet down the left hand side when possession was won back.

Tzanev was again called into action to deal with a corner, showing immense bravery to claim under pressure at the second attempt as another Fleetwood attack was foiled. However, events then took a turn for the worse for the Dons as the hosts were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Tzanev was adjudged to have taken an extra touch when preparing to take a Wimbledon set piece. After what seemed like an eternity, the ball was touched to Garner, who sent it past the wall and into the far corner.

Nine minutes were added on after the chaos that had ensued, but we were unable to find the goal that was needed and as a result we are all but down, barring a miraculous change in circumstances next week.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Will Nightingale, George Marsh, Anthony Hartigan (Dylan Adjei-Hersey), Sam Cosgrove (Derick Osei Yaw), Ayoub Assal, Jack Rudoni (Ethan Chislett), Luke McCormick, Ben Heneghan, Paul Kalambayi, Lee Brown.

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Ticket News

Fleetwood: Tickets available on the day

Collect at Highbury Stadium before the game

22 April 2022

Our supporters can buy tickets on the day for Saturday's vital clash at Fleetwood.

Tickets can be purchased from the main ticket office at Highbury Stadium.

Prices as follows:

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

Under-5s go free if accompanied by a paying adult.

For those who purchased tickets in advance (after the postal deadline of Tuesday at noon), you can collect pre-match from the main reception at Fleetwood. 

It's almost 11 years since a particularly memorable victory at Fleetwood - the 2-0 play-off semi-final first leg win. The Dons were roared on by 600 supporters that night and more of your fantastic backing can help the team to another important win.

For information about tickets, contact us on 020 3988 7863 or e-mail tickets@afcwimbledon.ltd.uk.

We will be running a supporters' coach for this game (£35 return) with the following pick-up points and times:

  • Waterside Way, Cherry Red Records Stadium, SW17 0NR (7.30 am).
  • Tolworth Station, KT5 9NX (8.00 am).

E-mail info@afcwimbledon.ltd.uk to make a booking for the coach.

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