AFC Wimbledon 2 Kingstonian 0

One of the benefits of being not-exactly-bang-up-to-date with the match report this time around means I get to comment on what followed, equally more important than history will view the game itself. Not that the game was junk, far from it, it was pretty watchable, mainly due to the Dons starting with a less than strong side… however one that more than matched a spirited Kingstonian side.

I have a feeling Terry Brown would have been delighted with the attitude K’s brought into the game, playing decent football and injecting a bit of much-needed pace into what could otherwise have been a bit sterile… think Corinthian Casuals in the second half… not what we really need with the season but two weeks away… And with a few players missing, you can only presume there will be a lot more to Kingstonian next season – once this report has been written Ill scurry off to the Ks site to find when their big derby against the small group of former (and one current) Dons over at Sutton, and desperately hoping it doesn’t clash with a Dons game…

With a bit of luck K’s could have gone in at half time with a lead, yet the same could be said of the young Dons, with trialist strikers Delano Sam-Yorke and Orlando Smith looking lively on occasions. In midfield, youth team graduate Harry Knock looked tidy, as did Reece Jones – more on him later. As K’s tired in the second period, Wimbledon brought on the big guns, and it paid off when Rashid Yussuff threaded the ball through for Jon Main to clip expertly into the roof of the net. Lee Minshull impressed again, and grabbed another pre-season goal to improve his ever , erm, improving (where’s a thesaurus when you need one?) reputation. It was a scrappy finish, but once again he found himself in the right place at the right time… a habit we can only hope he carries with him into the season proper…

So, on to the trialists. As you are now probably aware, both Fraser Franks and Ed Harris have signed up for the season, with Delano Sam-Yorke also joining after Terry finally got his hands on that much-needed Premier League money for the budget. Twenty players, or eighteen outfield players, is a more comfortable number going into a long campaign, yet if I was Terry I would be hoping for a cup run in order to get hold of some surplus for the budget come January in order to bring in some fresh blood. As I’ve said before, squad building should never be ‘complete’, Terry should always be looking to add to his hand.

But back to our new signings. Johnson and Yakubu will be our first choice pairing, I have no doubt about that, but Franks and Harris really impressed me and I am satisfied we have both at the club. In fact, I think Terry might have had a job separating the pair if there is only one place up for grabs. As for Sam-Yorke, well we now have satisfactory cover for the three attacking positions, and Sam-Yorke has shown he can do a job for us in the Conference next season. And with time on his side, a gain in squad depth this season could become a jewel in years to come too.

Lets talk about someone who hasn’t been signed yet, and looks as though he may miss out, and that’s Reece Jones. Now Reece was a player that really made me sit up and take notice, not because he was an all action goalscoring midfielder or tough ball winner, but he showed a technical ability that matched anyone we have had at this club in the AFC era. I’m sure if Terry had money left over he would have signed him – in fact if Steven Gregory’s injury had been any worse he would have taken him, I have no doubt about that. Terry would have done without Sam-Yorke and just gambled on Harmsworth to cover injuries. But the one position we can do without right now is midfield, the two centre halves were must-buys in my opinion… and with two weeks of pre-season remaining it leaves us in a position where there is cover in the squad for every position.

Lets get Gregory fit, let’s get Nwokeji back firing again, and let’s go out and show the rest of the Conference how our young players play football. This is the side that’s going to put the fear of god into some big money sides over the next three or four years (or however long it takes to get out of this division).

Onwards to the West Country…

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