As part of his looking back series at memorable Dons matches from the last three decades, Stephen Crabtree has selected a vital victory from a landmark season in 2011/12.
Of course, it was Wimbledon’s first season back in the league and Stephen, who is the Editor of the Historical Don, picks a match when Terry Brown’s men ended a long run of matches without a victory.
Saturday 14th January 2012: League 2
Port Vale (1) 1 Richards 31
AFC Wimbledon (1) 2 Midson 41, L Moore 77
You could almost hear the sigh of relief back in London. Returning to the Football League the previous summer, the AFC Wimbledon express had set off with a good head of steam and was fifth in League 2 at the end of September before a disastrous run of form threatened a derailment. Twelve games without a win had seen the Dons sliding down the table but the arrival of four new January-window crew members produced a victory in the Potteries to get the season back on track.
Port Vale dominated the opening exchanges and it was no surprise when they took the lead but just before half time Jack Midson levelled the scores when he forced the ball over the line at the near post despite the attention of two home defenders and goalkeeper Chris Martin. The Valiants hit the woodwork in the 73rd minute but just moments later substitute Luke Moore finished off a good move by shooting home a drive from the edge of the box.
“When they went ahead I felt like that same feeling we’ve had for some time now,” manager Terry Brown said. “It was relief to see the way we fought back as that result has been some time coming. I am very proud of the lads and the new boys who have come in and done a job. We weathered the storm at times. They hit the post and them we’ve gone up the other end to score the goal of the game and get the win. We now need to build on this and kick on.”
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Gwillim, McNaughton, Michel-King, Franks (Hatton 52), Knott (Yussuff 76), S Moore, Moncur, Harrison, Euell (L Moore 56), Midson.