Throughout July, Stephen Crabtree is selecting a memorable match from every one of the last 31 seasons.
In the fourth part of the series, Stephen, who is Editor of the Historical Don, looks back to the Premier League’s inaugural year and a match in which tenants Wimbledon gave landlords Crystal Palace such a thrashing that it ultimately led to their relegation.
Friday 9th April 1993: Premier League
Wimbledon (2) 4 Earle 19, 52, Holdsworth 24, 46
Crystal Palace (0) 0
‘Tenants Rock Palace Foundations’ was the headline in The Guardian after the Dons’ 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace had pushed the Selhurst Park landlords closer to the Premier League trapdoor. Just 18 months into their exile in SE25, Wimbledon supporters in the 12,275 crowd were jubilant and Eagles fans were departing in droves long before the final whistle.
Doubles from Robbie Earle and Dean Holdsworth helped the Dons to an emphatic victory in front of the Sky TV cameras. “Deano’s scored 17 goals in the Premier League,” manager Joe Kinnear said. “He would have been top scorer in the league, but (Teddy) Sheringham scored two this morning. He is full of confidence and it showed out there today."
The first year of the Premier League saw Kinnear’s side in mid-table for much of the campaign, but the combination of a 6-2 defeat at Oldham followed by this result helped the Lancashire Latics to avoid relegation on the last day as the Eagles went down on goal difference. Following their Good Friday debacle in the rain, it was to be some time before the bedraggled Palace rose again.
Wimbledon: Segers, Joseph, Barton, Sanchez, Scales, Fitzgerald, Ardley, Earle, Dobbs, Holdsworth (Miller 79), Clarke (Blackwell 79).
Pic credit: Paul Willatts.