Throughout July, Stephen Crabtree, the editor of The Historical Don, has been selecting a memorable match from each season over the last three decades.
In the twenty ninth part of his series, he recalls the Dons’ first victory at one of Lancashire’s most famous redoubts – Ewood Park.
Saturday 16th September 2017: League One
Blackburn Rovers (0) 0
AFC Wimbledon (1) 1 Appiah 16
Kwesi Appiah's early goal was enough as the Dons claimed the prized scalp of pre season promotion favourites Blackburn Rovers three years ago. Having never won at Ewood Park during the numerous Premier League meetings in the 1990s, Wimbledon just about deserved the historic victory despite a late onslaught from the hosts during which George Long pulled off an outstanding save from Bradley Dack to guarantee the points.
“Full marks to Wimbledon because they managed to nick a goal and defend it well for the majority of the game,” manager of just relegated Rovers Tony Mowbray said. “We have to be better in these situations. We became undisciplined in the last 20 minutes and started hitting long balls instead of playing it wide. That is the way to break down a massed defence.”
As the season developed the Lancashire side got into their stride and ended up being promoted alongside another relegated club, Wigan Athletic. For the Dons the campaign was more of a struggle with the team finding it hard to score enough goals. Eventually, a six game unbeaten run saw Neal Ardley’s men secure their survival with a Tuesday night goalless draw at Doncaster in their penultimate game.
AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Nightingale, Oshilaja, Francomb, Parrett, Hartigan, Trotter, Barcham (Forrester 74), Taylor (Robinson 80), Appiah (McDonald 74).
Take a look below at the highlights.