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Season Countdown: Back in the league with a bang!

Number 9 in our series counting down to the season

29 August 2020

With just two weeks until the League One season gets underway, we continue our series on memorable matches by turning the clock back to 2011.

Making an impressive start to life back in the league, the Dons were up among the League Two pacesetters after a fine victory in the autumn.

9. Gillingham

While some teams seem to have the Indian sign over Wimbledon, successive Dons sides have found facing Gillingham to their liking. Unbeaten in almost four decades at Priestfield, the record at Plough Lane, Selhurst Park and Cherry Red Records Stadium is none too shabby either. Here we look back on the Gills’ first visit to AFC Wimbledon.

Saturday 1st October 2011: League Two

AFC Wimbledon (3) 3 Jolley 10, 12, Midson 22

Gillingham (0) 1 Lee 67

It was a miserable return for Danny Kedwell. Having scored the penalty that fired the Dons back into the Football League just months earlier, the powerful striker had disappointed his legion of fans by signing for his boyhood club Gillingham that summer. But he must surely have been impressed by the pace of the new-look Wimbledon forward line as Christian Jolley and Jack Midson continued their impressive early season form by putting the hosts three-up in 22 minutes.

With the pitch temperature in excess of 40 degrees, the visitors were only able to pull one back as they chased the game and the Dons emerged as comfortable winners. “People will be talking about the play-offs now,” Terry Brown said after his side’s fourth straight win had lifted them up to 4th place in the table. “That’s rubbish. The first results I look for are the ones at the bottom. I want to be safe. There is no point in going through nine years of toil to blow it in the first year.”

The manager was right to be cautious as the momentum the club had gained during their successful Blue Square Conference campaign was set to run out. By Christmas the lack of quality in the squad had become obvious and the Dons were sliding towards the danger zone. It took the arrival of several January transfer window recruits to revive the team and a number of impressive results, including a thrilling come-from-behind win in the return match at Priestfield, to save the season.

AFC Wimbledon: Brown; Hatton, Gwillim (Johnson 5), S Moore, Stuart, McNaughton, Minshull (Porter 77), Yussuff, Midson, L Moore (Mulley 30), Jolley.

The picture above (taken by Paul Willatts) shows Christian Jolley and Jack Midson celebrating the opening goal.

Dons v Gills (1977 to 2019)

Season

Comp

H

A

1977-78

FLC 1

3-1

1-1

1979-80

Div 3

1-0

0-1

1979-80

FAC 1

4-2

0-0

1981-82

Div 3

0-2

1-6

1981-82

Grp Cup

4-0

 

1983-84

Div 3

1-3

1-0

2000-01

Div 1

4-4

0-0

2001-02

Div 1

3-1

0-0

2011-12

Lge 2

3-1

4-3

2012-13

Lge 2

0-1

2-2

2016-17

Lge 1

2-0

2-2

2017-18

Lge 1

1-1

2-2

2018-19

Lge 1

2-4

1-0

2019-20

Lge1

1-0

2-1

Total W12 D9 L6

This series is written by Stephen Crabtree, the editor of the Historical Don. To sample a copy contact him at stephecrab@aol.com .


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