The hardest thing about writing these match reports is coming up with a snappy opening line that really captures the reader’s attention and hooks them into reading the subsequent text… Now we’ve got that out of the way I can get on with telling you all about table topping AFC Wimbledon’s 4-0 victory over plucky Bath City. I was under the impression this could have been a potential banana skin, particularly as I had seen various comments from the fan base along the lines of how many goals we would score. Fortunately once Sammy Moore had opened the scoring on the twenty minute mark in this one, there was only going to be one winner.
In fact today all went off a little too swimmingly for my liking, which makes me suspicious… is this all a dream? Am I about to wake up on Saturday, or even worse, last Monday morning… I mean even the crappy Arriva bus service that takes me to Dorking station turned up on time, and that’s always late (when it turns up at all…). Having said that, I did have one ‘back to reality’ moment when I turned up at the ground and picked up my XXL WUP Danny Kedwell t-shirt. I didn’t want to carry it around with me, so I just put it on. Only for one of my fellow Dons bloggers to comment that it ‘looked a little tight’. I know I’ve piled on a few pounds recently, but that was not what I really wanted to hear… That incident kind of made up my mind that I’ll be running the Dons Minithon (the best way to force yourself into doing things like this is to tell as many people as possible what you are planning to do, so you know how much of a knob you’ll look if you don’t…).
Back to the game, and Moore’s opener came just as the Dons started to stamp their authority on the game. A decent move lead to Steven Gregory teeing up a shot from the edge of the area which was blocked well by a Bath defender, only for the ball to break nicely for Moore to turn and stroke into the bottom left corner. For the remainder of the half, the Dons were at their dangerous best. Both fullbacks were bombing forward causing Bath no end of problems, combining well with Jolley and Jackson who are excelling starting games – no doubt causing the manager a few headaches as they are there on merit ahead of Main, Moore and now Nwokeji. A special mention as well must go to Yakubu and Harris, who kept the door firmly shut at the back as pretty much every other Dons player seemed to having only attacking intent. Yakubu in particular pulled off a brilliant interception at one end before showing his team mates how it’s done at the other.
In fact it was a wonderful goal, if only because we so rarely see the Dons score from corners. If you couldn’t make the game, well what can I say? You missed it. The execution of the goal suggested there may be more to come in the future – Sam Hatton struck the ball into the near post perfectly, Yakubu knew exactly where it was going and timed his run to meet it perfectly. In fact I’m amazed it didn’t break the net with the force he put into it, and for Dons fans, lovely to watch.
Wimbledon could have extended their lead before half time creating more chances, particularly an incisive Andre Blackman run which ended with his curling right footed effort sailing just wide of the right hand post. To be honest though you got the impression the Dons would go on to score as many as they wanted in the second half, as I took the opportunity to take advantage of the soft segregation in place to go and watch the rest of the game from the Tempest…
As is so usually the case, the Dons chose the first fifteen minutes of the second half to have their worst spell of the game, but Bath still couldn’t find a way to even threaten the Dons goal. A Phillips effort that bounced back off the underside… of the roof behind the stand was the closest they came, still the Bath goalkeeper got a moment of excitement out of it. In fact despite the great football they produced it could be argued Wimbledon never really needed to hit top gear, a worry for the visitors with a long season ahead. And they went further behind to the most basic of goals, the sort you really need to defend better if you want to be competitive in this division. Ryan Jackson hoisted a long throw into the Bath box, Danny Kedwell flicked on and Christian Jolley guided the ball back across the goalkeeper into the net.
We hadn’t seen much from Kedwell so far, he had a decent game linking the play, but the man on everyone t-shirt hadn’t threatened to add to his goal tally, mainly down to a decent performance by former Don Danny Webb. The man with a fifty pence piece for a head was last seen by Dons fans flapping about in an ill-fitting goalkeepers shirt as his Salisbury side were destroyed 4-0 early last term, and he was destined to lose by the same result when he and his colleagues left Kedwell all alone in the box to notch his eighth of the season.
In fact Webb’s afternoon could have got a whole lot worse as he appeared to haul back Kedwell after the Dons striker got in front of him and the goal at his mercy. Webb stayed down, perhaps expecting the worst, but the referee (who had a very decent game, by the way) decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. By this stage, Jolley and Jackson had reverted to full backs as Jon Main and debutant Mark Nwokeji were brought into the action. Main worked hard again but it was Nwokeji that impressed during his ten minute cameo. He does look a tidy player, and one that can bring a lot to the side. Jackson is holding that right sided forward position for now, but expect Nwokeji to reclaim that shirt, with Jackson one for the future…
So Wimbledon gained the victory they needed to ensure they would remain top on Friday night regardless of the result against Luton, but the next two games will tell us a whole lot more about their promotion credentials. Terry Brown has said in the past that twenty points from the first ten games is normally regarded as the sort of start you need to challenge for promotion – Wimbledon currently have nineteen… and the luxury of knowing any points against the two big spenders will be a bonus…
Man, I didn’t mean anything negative. You had a thick t-shirt aready, that’s what I meant by saying too tight. But as for the 3 miles I am actually thinking of joining it too. When exactlyt is it?
I really would love to see this team but 6000 miles is a little far to go for a Saturday afternnon game. Also bloody expensive.
By all accounts from what I’ve heard on Radio WDON and read, this seems to be a very good side. Terry Brown has certainly brought in some top class players and those in the starting XI have to watch their backs cause there are some excellent subs waiting for a chance.
You are right the next 2 games are going tell us a lot about how this season will pan out.
Go the dons – and please beat Crawley