For his latest selection, Stephen Crabtree turns the clock back to a day when Wimbledon once again caused an upset in the Premier League.
Throughout July, Stephen, who is editor of The Historical Don, will be picking a memorable match from each of the last 31 seasons, and in the sixth part of the series he looks back to an afternoon when Kevin Keegan’s free-flowing Newcastle side – then chasing the Premier League crown - were humbled in SE25.
Saturday 19th November 1994: Premier League
Wimbledon (3) 3 Clarke 1, Ekoku 27, Harford 36
Newcastle United (2) 2 Beardsley 29, Kitson 32
They never knew when they were beaten. When the going got tough against Premier League leaders Newcastle United in November 1994, the Dons simply got going. Despite throwing away a two-goal lead, seeing debutant Jon Goodman carried off on a stretcher, having Vinnie Jones sent off following a second yellow card, and missing a late penalty, Wimbledon still emerged victorious.
Forced to rebuild his side early in the campaign, Joe Kinnear’s men were in the bottom two before the October arrival of reinforcements in the shape of Efan Ekoku, Oyvind Leonhardsen and Kenny Cunningham. The hosts improved form in recent games was carried on as early goals from Andy Clarke and Ekoku put Wimbledon in control only for the Geordies to hit back to equalise through Peter Beardsley and Andy Kitson. Mick Harford then restored the lead before a second-half barrage.
The visitors’ expensively assembled forward line repeatedly stretched Wimbledon’s defence and after Jones’ 73rd minute red card it looked as though Newcastle would finally breach the blue wall. But it was Wimbledon who had the best chance when Warren Barton missed a penalty five minutes from time.
“Once again, people have been too quick to write us off,” a buoyant Kinnear commented. “That’s nine points from a possible 12 so perhaps we’re not so bad a team after all for a side that every year is even money to be relegated. Get your money on us for the FA Cup - we’re on a roll.”
Wimbledon: Segers, Cunningham, Thorn, Reeves, Elkins, Barton (Fitzgerald 89), Leonhardsen, Jones, Goodman ((Harford 16), Clarke, Ekoku.
PIC: Kenny Cunningham moves in to stop England international Peter Beardsley in his tracks (Paul Willatts).