Stephen Crabtree today selects a memorable match when AFC Wimbledon set a new unbeaten record in British football.
In the 16th part of his series, Stephen, who is the Editor of the Historical Don, remembers the afternoon when the Dons made it 76 league games unbeaten – the remarkable run was eventually ended after 78 matches at Cray Wanderers.
The picture above (taken by Paul Willatts) shows Dave Anderson and the players celebrating in the dressing room at Bromley after breaking the record.
13 November 2004: Ryman League Division One
Bromley (1) 1 Amoako 16
AFC Wimbledon (1) 1 Ursell 32
It was with more of a sense of relief than elation that the Dons entered the history books. After weeks of anticipation; a tense, nervy draw at Bromley meant AFC Wimbledon had gone 76 league games unbeaten – a British record at senior level. Having fallen behind to an early Amoako goal, a wonderful curled equaliser from the mercurial Rob Ursell produced wild celebrations amongst the travelling supporters in the crowd of 1,937 who had massed behind the home goal.
Having equalled St Blazey’s record of 75 league games unbeaten by beating Fleet Town 3-0 on 2 November, the Dons had to wait 11 days for the chance to overhaul the Cornishmen. Since losing a Combined Counties League game to Withdean 2000 in February 2003, AFC Wimbledon had played 76 league games, winning 67 and drawing nine. The Dons had scored 267 goals and conceded just 55 along the way.
“My name on Twitter to this day is DaveAnderson78 and it shows how proud I am of that record,” manager Dave Anderson recalled recently. “I am well aware that I only took over towards the end of the run but it meant the world to me. The game before, when we equalled the record by beating Fleet at Kingsmeadow, I remember the fans behind the goal were chanting ‘Anderson’s Yellow and Blue army’ throughout the first half. I made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.”
AFC Wimbledon: Naisbitt, Woolner, Gray (Goggin 21), Howard, Everard, Gibson, Ursell, Bolger, S Butler (McDowall 88), Randall, Gell.