As we count down to one of the biggest moments in Wimbledon's history on Saturday, we today recall a great match from our first Plough Lane era.
With just two days until our first league match at our spiritual home with supporters in three decades, Stephen Crabtree remembers the day that Vinnie Jones headed home the winner versus Manchester United.
3. Saturday 29th November 1986: Division One
Wimbledon (1) 1 Jones 42
Manchester United (0) 0
Vinnie Jones announced his top flight arrival by scoring the winner as Manchester United came to Plough lane for the first time. Signed for £8,000, the former Wealdstone midfielder scored with a header from Glyn Hodges’ corner minutes before half-time and celebrated by jumping onto the fence in front of the West Bank. Lowly United were enduring a season of struggle and rarely tested Dave Beasant in the home goal as the Dons saw out the second half with some ease.
“We were poor,” admitted the recently appointed United boss Alex Ferguson. “You have to come to places like this and treat it like a cup tie. We didn’t give them a fight. I could not see us getting back into the game after we went behind. I hope (England captain) Bryan Robson has now fully recovered. His return was about the only good thing to come from the match.”
Just nine years after joining the Football League the Dons were riding high and Jones was on target again as the team followed up their victory by winning 4-0 at Stamford Bridge a week later. The return games at the end of the season saw Wimbledon complete the double over both United and Chelsea as Dave Bassett’s men secured a remarkable sixth place finish.
Dons; Beasant, Kay, Winterburn, Thorn, Gayle, Jones, Wise, Downes, Fashanu, Hodges (Cork 88), Fairweather.