AFC Wimbledon v Salisbury City – A Match Preview

salisburyDanny Webb. Performing brilliantly for Salisbury as a centre half. I SHIT YOU NOT. I thought someone was having a windup on the Old Centrals when I was doing a bit of research (read – hoping someone had posted a couple of links therefore doing my research for me…). So I immediately rushed to the first Salisbury forum I could find.

And there they were. Comments with no hint of irony, such as…

My MOM Danny Webb controlled performance at the back…

Super Danny Webb! Webby’s a legend!!!!!

And strangely…

He’s big he’s white Pays Women to Strip at night Danny Webb Danny Webb

I don’t know why, but this makes me feel strangely superior to Salisbury and their supporters. Surely this is not the same Webb that lumbered about making Ryman League defenders look impressive? How bad must the rest of their team be?! Of course, this is probably some plan to lull us all into a false sense of security, as we roll into TCRRFSKM expecting to see Main and Kedwell absolutely fill their boots, perhaps with young Rapson making his debut towards the end – when what will actually happen will be a nasty surprise to us all?

We all remember when Webb made his cameo in last seasons demolition of Havant – we cheered his every touch, he was that useless. He was held up by many a commentator as an example of how far we had progressed last season. I can only imagine what kind of spiritual encounter he must of had to turn his career around in the manner these Salisbury fans are suggesting. Forget Jesus… this must have had something to do with aliens…

Salisbury themselves were regarded by us as a model club only a year or so ago when Erik went to visit them to pick up some pointers as to some of the problems clubs at higher levels face. Unfortunately after that the economic downturn hit them hard, forcing them to slash their budget in mid-season after losing a number of backers. Good management (in both financial and football terms) plus the implosion of a number of clubs below them meant Salisbury avoided the drop, and they have had a decent start this year… with Chesters 25 point deduction effectively turning the relegation race into a worst-of-three Salisbury will be confident they will have too much for the likes of Hayes, Gateshead and the like. A decent prediction for them this season would be lower-midtable, but a possible takeover and financial fun and games elsewhere could see them finish comfortably above relegation drama.

The thing that is bothering me most about the Salisbury game (apart from Danny Webb…) is the amount of room Salisbury have been allocated just for 100 or so travelling fans… I thought when small visiting support was expected the segregation could be moved to allow Dons fans to stand on the KRE? Plus I’m not sure how many tickets have been sold, or what sort of walk up they are expecting, but this means the total capacity for Dons fans is 4000. Two sections of the ground are completely sold out, with remaining tickets on sale for the John Smith.

I would imagine we would get an impressive crowd tomorrow night. Bear in mind all of those who missed out on Luton, for whatever reason, will be wanting to come tonight, and the fact that the kids are still on holiday, meaning there will be no problem with late nights, and we should be looking at 3500 minimum. Which should set a benchmark for midweek games.

It would have been an idea to allow the Dons fans to spread round a bit, and allow us to benefit from the improved atmosphere which we missed out on against Luton, and will against Oxford, Wrexham and Cambridge. I understand most of the changes that have been made this season. I even understand why, when the new turnstiles are eventually built, visiting supporters will be housed at the Tempest End end of the John Smiths. But this I cannot understand. We were told we would get the opportunity to stand on the KRE when low numbers of visitors were expected… perhaps Erik will explain why in the programme tomorrow?

Oh, and people say I’m fixated on our crowds… that poll is still running by the way…

On to the Dons, more importantly how we will line up. So according to Terry, we will make one or two changes against Salisbury. Trying to guess who these changes will be is difficult but not impossible. For example we may see Ben Judge get a start, and Ricky Wellard come in for his debut (the mindless minority in the JSS are just going to love him, I can tell…). The lineup I have gone for is as follows;

Pullen

Conroy

Hussey

Lorraine

Johnson

Gregory

Duncan

Taylor

Wellard

Kedwell

Moore

Perhaps this is more in hope than expectation, but I would like to see Luke Moore given a runout up front. Terry has used him predominately on the left so far, but he impressed up front during pre-season, so maybe, just maybe, we might see him start there tonight

 A win would be a great springboard to push on in this division. Despite the strength of opposition we face at home over the next month or so, it would be great to come through that with a reputation of being hard to beat at home. A victory tonight would set this up nicely, and with points available on our trips away from Kingsmeadow there is everything to play for before the end of September.

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