After the Newport game, this blog confidently predicted we would not see the Dons on top of the Conference table again this season. I have to say this was one of those statements I come out with from time to time that are made solely in order to tempt fate… and I’m very glad that my fiendish plan worked. For that reason, I would like to state here that there is no chance the Dons will remain top of the table come 4.50pm on Saturday, nor indeed any chance of promotion…
Actually, I was more than pleasantly surprised when the news came through that we had beaten Kettering last week. I always find it quite surreal missing my first game of the season, and have never really got into listening to the game on WDON, excellent service that it is… I’m going to have to get used to it next season, as I won’t be in the country for at least 44 of our 46 games – still, it should make for more accurate match reports…
When I say I didn’t expect us to beat Kettering, what I really mean is I thought Kettering would be the sort of place that this Wimbledon side would come unstuck, which probably wasn’t entirely unreasonable after effectively throwing away two points the Monday before against Newport (and how good would the league table look now if we had held on to those?!). Yet they proved me wrong, and long may they continue to do so. This young squad are playing with no fear at the moment, although you do wonder how they would bounce back from a heavy defeat or morale busting last minute loss. There is a temptation to say Bath City should not prove too much of a threat to the Dons holding onto top spot, but this is football, Bath City are undoubtedly better than their early league position suggests and will ask questions, the Dons need to be focussed to stand any chance of going into next Fridays game at Luton as leaders.
After missing our two league games in Bath during our BSS championship season, I was naturally thrilled that Bath City overcame Woking in the playoffs last year – albeit losing a potential derby with our ‘friends’ a few stops down the South West mainline… then horrified the Conference fixture computer (i.e. bloke with pencil, dice, shaky grasp of geography…) allocated our visit to a Tuesday in January… I still hope to get down there, as I have heard nothing but good reports of our previous trip, but probably won’t get the chance to explore the city as intended… From what I have seen online Bath fans are making all the right noises ahead of their trip, I hope they have a great day out as they seem to have quite an unpretentious fanbase.
Bath are an unknown quantity to me, are missing five players, whether this will have much effect on them remains to be seen. The Dons have no new injury worries apparently, which meant the Surrey Herald (who must have some kind of Dons related quota to meet) were forced to recycle the news that Brett Johnson will miss the game, but stands a chance of being back for the Luton game. Ed Harris has the chance to stamp his claim for regular first team football, alongside the unflappable Ismail Yakubu. Steven Gregory is listed as doubtful, and as we all know Mark Nwokeji is yet to make is debut, will have to wait another week at least.
Now, the moment you have all been waiting for… the Anonymous Don predicted line up;
I have Wellard in for Gregory, and Luke Moore reprising his place with Ryan Jackson making way… which will be extremely unfortunate for the youngster, but I just have this hunch…
WUP is on sale tomorrow which may or may not feature a contribution from The Anonymous Don (they don’t tell me in advance, to ensure I actually buy a copy…). Danny Kedwell t-shirts are available too, for a crisp tenner (including WUP). Further details can be found here – http://www.afcwgb.co.uk/keds_tshirt.html
#### LATE UPDATE! ####
My brave prediction that Luke Moore would come back into the starting line up only had the effect of giving him a poorly tummy, presumably caused by him reading this and getting a bit over excited. This means Luke will not play any part tomorrow (according to the O/S…).
As one plant is crushed, so another seed germinates, and our boost is that Mark Nwokeji is finally fit enough to join the squad. Heres hoping for a positive debut, I for one wish him all the best and hope he earns his Dons colours with style…