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Season Countdown: Dramatic cup win led to history being made

Series continues with a look back at a classic cup victory

28 August 2020

With the league season now just over two weeks away, we continue our countdown by featuring a match that provided a real treat for those Dons fans that made the long trip to Fleetwood.

A dramatic cup win versus the Cod Army paved the way to that magical night when the Dons upset Premier League West Ham to reach the last-16 of the FA Cup for the first time since reformation. The feel-good factor developed by the cup run also helped to gather momentum for the Great Escape – the Dons turning around a 10-point deficit to stay up on the last day.

8. Fleetwood

Since playing for the first time at Blue Square Conference level in 2010, the Dons have been sparring with Fleetwood on a regular basis. Here we recall a recent FA Cup meeting that ended in dramatic style.

Saturday 5th January 2019: FAC3

Fleetwood Town (0) 2 Madden 70, Evans (pen) 72

AFC Wimbledon (1) 3 Barcham 16, Hartigan 65, Appiah 90

It was a sign that the shackles had been taken off. Just weeks after taking over from Neal Ardley, Wally Downes was encouraging a more adventurous game and the new approach paid off with a thrilling FA Cup third round win at Fleetwood Town. Instead of settling for a replay after surrendering a two-goal lead, Kwesi Appiah struck a 90th-minute winner and the visitors held out despite coming under intense pressure in injury time.

Goals from Andy Barcham and Anthony Hartigan had put the Dons in control by the 65th minute, but then Fleetwood were given a quick lifeline when Paddy Madden scored following a goalmouth scramble.  Two minutes later, the hosts were level when Ched Evans struck from the spot after he was brought down inside the box. With both sides looking for a winner, Appiah slotted home his third goal in his last five games to take AFC Wimbledon into the fourth round for the first time.

“It’s fabulous for everyone concerned,” Downes said afterwards. “All that the club has ever done is make history all of the time from the moment the club was started again until today. There is history to be made all of the time and it’s brilliant to be a part of it.”

Another brave attacking display saw Premier League West Ham beaten at Kingsmeadow in round four. It was the prelude for a brilliant late season run of form that staved off relegation.

AFC Wimbledon: Ramsdale, Watson, Thomas (Trotter 32), Kalambayi, Purrington, Nightingale, Pinnock, Hartigan, Wordsworth, Barcham (Jervis 81), Appiah.

The picture above shows Anthony Hartigan and Andy Barcham celebrating after the midfielder had put Wimbledon 2-0 up.

Dons v Fleetwood (2010 to 2020)

Season

Comp

H

A

2010-11

BSP

1-0

1-1

2010-11

BSP PO

6-1

2-0

2012-13

Lge 2

2-1

1-1

2013-14

Lge 2

2-0

0-0

2016-17

Lge 1

2-2

0-0

2017-18

Lge 1

0-1

0-2

2018-19

Lge 1

0-3

1-0

2018-19

FAC3

 

3-2

2019-20

Lge 1

1-2

1-2

Total W7 D5 L5

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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