The Dons travel the well-worn path to Hayes Lane on Easter Monday to take on Bromley, requiring just five points from their last three games to secure the title. It could even be won as soon as Monday following a win, as long as Trumpton lose at Hayes and Yeading, and Eastleigh somehow fail to win at Bognor. I’m sure most Dons fans have spent the last few days in a blind panic, but a victory will see us half the way there. However, history has a tendency to add spice to any fixture, and against local rivals the formbook could go out the window…
…Which could just well be a good thing as far as the home fans are concerned. Two home wins in the last week haven’t managed to yet gloss over some poor form in March, the victories achieved via solid displays against mid-table opposition.
Star man defensively Alan Inns now serves a three match suspension keeping him out of the remaining regular season games after his red card at Eastleigh, and Ben Judge will be partnered by Jake Leberl, presuming club captain Jason Goodliffe hasn’t made a remarkable recovery from his back injury. With Andy Sambrook having reserve team football under his belt he is technically available for selection, although Jay Conroy’s form since joining the club means he has probably made the position his own for the remainder of the seasons, perhaps even worthy of a contract to contest the position with Luke Garrard next term.
In front of the back four I would expect Dwayne Lee to step back in following Elliott Godfrey’s spell in the number four shirt on Friday, with Bromley expected to come on more than Basingstoke did, his height will be an added factor. Expect Hatton and Davis to patrol the centre as they have done so efficiently in recent games, with the free role a toss up between Godfrey and Finn, who both worked so hard in Monday’s victory.
Finally, Main and Kedwell will start up top after Kezie Ibe’s impressive short term loan gave the larger of the two centre forwards a decent rest. Expect him to come out hungry and ready for battle as we saw during his cameo on Friday.
Bromley enter the game down in 13th, but still with a top ten place to play for. The Lilywhites have had a quiet season, the budget has been reined in slightly and while never looking in danger of being sucked into a relegation scrap, they haven’t caused the playoff chasers to look over their shoulders either. Building for next term will be the priority now, although to get one over their local rivals on Monday would be a great way to end the season.
Them – For some reason I can’t get onto the Bromley supporters forum at the moment, but its safe to say they will be looking forward to it, and its also safe to presume that one or two of them still don’t like us much. Bromley have learnt from previous mistakes that selling alcohol inside the ground is a no-no, and that segregation is a must for these types of fixtures, even being enforced at last years FA Cup tie with Cray. That being highly sensible after the Coney Hall debacle, the only match in the AFC era to be abandoned due to crowd unrest, which also took place at Hayes Lane and led to some bad blood between the two sides. Dons have not visited for a Bromley league game in nearly two years, since that painful Ryman playoff semi final defeat, since when a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
Us – Packing the adult nappies, you will be able to spot even a plain clothes Dons fan by the nervous, twitchy mannerisms thankfully not shared by the squad. We will go there in numbers as usual, perhaps more in hope than expectation, which is a good thing at this stage of the season. The local derby aspect has been somewhat overlooked by Dons fans just desperate to see their team over the line.
Date Venue Comp Score (Dons First)
13/11/04 Hayes Lane RL1 1-1
15/1/05 Kingsmeadow RL1 1-0
6/9/05 Kingsmeadow RLP 1-1
25/10/05 Hayes Lane RLP 0-2
3/1/07 Hayes Lane RLP 3-1
10/2/07 Kingsmeadow RLP 3-2
1/5/07 Hayes Lane RLP P/O s/f 0-1
5/2/08 Hayes Lane LSC q/f 1-4
25/8/08 Kingsmeadow BSS 3-1
The wins are shared slightly in the Dons favour, but Bromley won the game that count ed most; the aforementioned playoff semi-final two years ago. However our 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane, achieved thanks to a brilliant Rob Ursell curling effort, secured our place in the record books for the longest unbeaten run in British football.
THE ANONYMOUS OPINION
Ooh, it’s going to be tough. Like next week, completely unpredictable (unlike Blue Square who are giving 4/1 on a Bromley win, which is why they won’t be featuring in the remaining previews this season…). Just get yourself there, if you have a spare ticket give it to a fellow Don, there’s going to be tickets at the gate anyway so cancel lunch at Grandmas; oh, and MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!