Midson strikes twiceStacy Long struck his first goal in an AFC Wimbledon shirt at Maidenhead, but the ex-Stevenage midfielder admits Terry Brown's new-look squad will take time to gel.
However, the signs were encouraging as Stacy and fellow new boy Louis Harris pulled the strings in midfield and Jack Midson's double showed that he had lost none of the predatory instincts that served him so well last season.
Stacy said: "It was a good workout for us against a decent side. We started off well, but they got level and it was good to see the lads dig in to win the match. It was nice for me to score, but it was more important that we got back to winning ways. It is about fitness in pre-season, but you do not want to be losing all of the time. The new players are getting used to the system that the manager wants to play and that will take time, but winning games shows that you are going in the right way. I have been told that Pim (Balkestein) is a decent signing who will add strength and a few of the lads from last season have said we are heading in the right direction."
Charlie Strutton did his chances of being a part of Terry Brown's plans for next season no harm at all. The forward made a nuisance of himself in the 16th minute and Midson picked up the pieces to strike the opening goal. However, the visitors failed to press home their advantage after that and when Mat Mitchel-king was adjudged to have fouled Alex Wall in the box, Bobby Behzadi levelled the scores from the spot in the 28th minute.
The visitors produced the right response to that setback though and Sammy Moore showed the attacking instincts that have convinced Terry Brown to play him in a more advanced role next season. The midfielder first forced Maidenhead goalkeeper Joe Lumley into a good save, before setting up Long, who scored the goal of the night with an emphatic strike. It should have been three before the break when Curtis Osano's through ball put Luke Moore clean through, but he dragged his shot wide.
Wimbledon supporters did not have to wait long for a third though after the break as Strutton found space down the left and once again set-up his strike partner Midson, who made no mistake to put the Dons 3-1 up.
With victory effectively sealed, Terry Brown gave all of his squad a run-out with six changes made on the hour and the rest following during the remainder. Youngster Frankie Merrifield, who has graduated to the first-team squad, appears to be taking the step-up in his stride and he looked very assured in midfield. Merrifield came close to scoring in style with a superb 30-yard piledriver that fizzed just wide, but it was his passing and vision that most impressed in the centre of the park. He started one fine move that almost led to a fourth by linking up well with Brendan Kiernan to put Christian Jolley through, but Lumley was out quick to stop Wimbledon adding a fourth that would have been a little harsh on Maidenhead.
AFC Wimbledon: Seb Brown, Curtis Osano, Warren Cummings, Mat Mitchel-King, Steven Old, Louis Harris, Sammy Moore, Stacy Long, Luke Moore, Charlie Strutton, Jack Midson. Second-half substitutes: Christian Jolley, Dan Sweeney, Jim Fenlon, Yannick Nlate, Will Bor, Jamie Yeboah, Brendan Kiernan, Dan Collier, Byron Harrison, Frankie Merrifield, Emmanuel Akokhia.