Crowd watch an eight-goal thriller
A crowd of around 800 supporters watched Dons heroes roll back the years in a charity match that raised in excess of £11,000 on the day.
.One Life UK and Shooting Star ChaseWimbledon FC and AFC Wimbledon (picture above by Zoe Linkson) provided an entertaining spectacle on the pitch with a 4-4 draw and it was all for a good cause with funds raised from the match, in association with Paul Strank Roofing, going towards
There was a moment to savour too for Dons supporter Rob Cura, who won an auction to play for Wimbledon FC, and marked the occasion with a goal. Moorad Choudhry, who has sponsored the matchday programme for seven seasons, also appeared for Wimbledon and Dan Shaw won an action to play for AFC Wimbledon.
Though the majority of players in today’s charity game would have been eligible for a veterans match, there was no lack of quality on display from the very start.
AFC Wimbledon, a side definitely holding the edge in terms of youth, made a whirlwind start that took Wimbledon FC by surprise with Luke Garrard as the inspiration. Garrard, who showed just why he became such a favourite with the Dons faithful, took barely two minutes to open his account. Playing a one-two with Rob Ursell, Garrard produced a sublime finish past Jordan Knight.
It was 2-0 just a few minutes later when Danny Kedwell showed his creativity with a lovely cross and Garrard gave it the finish it deserved with a powerful header into the roof of the net. Even better was to come from AFC Wimbledon with Ursell, who is a professional futsal player in Cyprus, showing the quality honed in the shortened form of the game. One lovely shimmy put Ursell through on goal and he produced the finish to match in style.
Faced with a 3-0 deficit, Wimbledon FC had a mountain to climb, but the Dons fighting spirit that had been instilled in them during their playing days returned with a bang. With Neal Ardley providing good width on the left side and Chris Perry shoring things up at the back, Wimbledon FC came back into the match before the break.
A goal that would have graced any stage got them back into it. Damien Francis picked up the ball 25 yards out and let fly with a stunning strike that arrowed into the roof of the net. Then there was a moment that big Wimbledon supporter Rob Cura will never forget. The man who won an auction to appear for Wimbledon FC was in the right place at the right time to steer home from close range in front of the Eco House End. That signalled the biggest cheers of the day from spectators at the Cherry Red Records Stadium as Rob Cura saluted the crowd just before the half-time whistle.
It was not long into the second-half before Wimbledon FC were level with Andy Clarke showing that his poacher’s instinct still remained as he stabbed home from close range. However, there was no stopping that man Francis as he curled home another fantastic goal to give Wimbledon FC a lead for the first time.
There was almost a moment to savour for the current management team shortly afterwards when Neal Ardley broke down the wing for Wimbledon FC and set-up Neil Cox, but his goal-bound effort was charged down. Simon Bassey had pledged to get his boots back on for AFC Wimbledon and he entered the fray for a cameo performance as substitute.
However, with Kedwell and Main renewing their glorious partnership from days gone by, AFC Wimbledon were always a threat and they made it 4-4 midway through the second-half. It was Main who equalised with a brilliant header that earned rapturous applause from the Dons faithful.
Though both sides threatened a winner, it was honours even on a great day for charity.
AFC Wimbledon squad: Andy Bell, Gareth Gwillim, Rob Ursell, Jason Goodliffe, Danny Kedwell, Jon Main, Steve Ferguson, Ryan Gray, Tony Finn, Luke Garrard, Joe Sheerin, Matt Everard, Rob Quinn, Martin Randall, Mark Beard, Simon Bassey, Ben Judge, Moorad Choudhry
Wimbledon FC: Jordan Knight, Duncan Jupp, Neil Cox, Ashley Bayes, Andy Clarke, Cornell Harvey, Nathan Hunte, Scott Fitzgerald, Neal Ardley, Damien Francis, Jordan Knight, Alan Reeves, Chris Perry, Rob Cura.