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Rewind: ‘The day fans really started to finally believe’ as old foes beaten

A memorable match from 2009

20 July 2020

Stephen Crabtree today turns the clock back to a match 11 years ago when Wimbledon took a big step towards title glory.

As part of his series featuring classic Dons matches from the past three decades, Stephen, who is the Editor of the Historical Don, sums up the events of a memorable Saturday afternoon when Terry Brown’s men overcame the challenge of a Chelmsford City side that were big rivals back then.

The picture above (take by Paul Willatts) shows Elliott Godfrey getting in a shot on goal during this match.

Saturday 31st January 2009: Blue Square Conference South

AFC Wimbledon (2) 3 Main 16, 28, Davis 89

Chelmsford City (0) 1 James 64

It was the day fans really started to believe. With several hundred supporters locked out of a sold-out Kingsmeadow, a crowd of 4,690 watched the Dons finally beat a Chelmsford side that had been their masters for the previous 18 months and set a course for the Conference South title. Jon Main continued his January hot streak by scoring twice in the opening half hour and although the Clarets reduced the arrears to set up a tense finale, a late Tom Davis goal finally secured victory.

“After a number of reverses against Chelmsford in our last few meetings, I am delighted we were able to come out on top and secure the three points,” manager Terry Brown commented. “Jon Main maintained the incredible record he has set since the start of the New Year, but I thought our defence was again sound with Ben Judge and Jason Goodliffe providing an immensely difficult barrier to breach.”

The manager had clearly spotted changes in the way the Essex side played, as he added: “I saw Eastleigh beat Chelmsford recently and Jeff (King)’s team are trying a new system. It may take some time to get it to work. I can see Eastleigh and Hampton being our main challengers for the title now.”

Brown’s words proved prophetic as it was the Beavers and the Spitfires who pushed Wimbledon all the way, before the title was finally secured late that spring.

AFC Wimbledon: Pullen; Sambrook, Hussey; Lee, Judge, Goodliffe, Hatton, Davis, Kedwell, Main (Finn 87), Godfrey (Leberl 90).

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