It wouldn’t be pre-season without split squads against sides lower down the pyramid, although you can take it too far… I noticed Crawley played two games on the same night yesterday, which must have been slightly frustrating for Crawley fans deciding which to attend. Fortunately the Dons trips to Beckenham and Bedfont are separated by 48 hours, allowing those of us hardcore enough to not worry about missing a minute of our preparations.
Thats a group I very much don’t belong to, having given up the opportunity to travel across South London for a rare opportunity to earn myself a bit of overtime at work… those who did attend were rewarded with six unreplied Dons goals from to Luke Moore, a Jack Midson hat trick, Toks and Sammy Hatton. Guaranteed Bedfont Town tomorrow won’t be anywhere near as goalsome, despite the rumoured appearance of Dons record scorer in the AFC era and Bedfont manager Kevin Cooper…
There are some managers under these circumstances who would shy away from the limelight, allow their team to do the talking… Kevin Cooper is not one of those managers. Maybe he has the right idea after all, by hogging the Dons fans attention he might relax his own players and allow them to concentrate on preparing for the season. Aww, who am I kidding, this is his last chance to bask in playing in front of Dons fans, even if just a handful turn up, and regardless of the level we were playing at the time, players who bang in a century of goals over two seasons don’t come along very often. Besides, with Kedwells departure showing any player getting in the twenty goal bracket will swiftly move on to bigger and better things, Cooper could hold that goal record for many years to come.
The Dons lineup against Beckenham gives a strong hint as to who will appear against Bedfont, meaning we should see the likes of Brett Johnson, James Mulley, Max Porter and Christian Jolley in action. Of course the only reason I’m really going is to sample the famous football/plane combo I’ve heard so much about. I’ve seen big jets up close before (I used to work not far from The Orchard), and of course I’ve seen football matches before, but the juxtapose of the two is always a bit weird. As you can tell I’ve never been to a game at any of the Bedfonts before, but I’m imagining it’s going to be Feltham times a million (minus the decaying stadium and threadbare pitch…).
After this, only Saturday stands in the way of the Dons and the season proper. I’ll probably not have the opportunity to preview the Watford game – or at very least it’ll be a combined Bedfont match report and preview of Saturdays game, which is the downside of watching and blogging on two games within 48 hours. Presumably the Tooting game will be a chance for the majority of the side to get a bit of game time as well, but with Crawley three days away we’ll have to be a little careful (and I never did find out why its being played on a Friday night… presumably they just don’t want a big crowd to attend?).
On the subject of Tooting, they provide the Dons opposition in the Surrey Senior Cup second round next season. Now presumably the Dons side will be pretty much the Development squad, or maybe a hybrid including squad members needing game time (the closest you’ll see to a genuine Dons reserve team), the majority of Dons fans have never considered it worthy of their time, but there are a significant number of you out there who will be considering the County Cups as more important than the JPT, for example. They probably have a point, anything that helps bring the youth on is worthwhile, so for those of you interested, here is how our route to the final will shape up…
Second Round – Away (Tooting)
Third Round – Away (Molesey or Corinthian-Casuals)
Quarter Final – Away (Redhill, Croydon, Lingfield, Horley, Camberley, Walton & Hersham)
Semi Final – Home (Loads, including Sutton, Leatherhead and Kingstonian)
Final – Somewhere Else (Work it out yourself…)
Naturally, the likelihood is regardless of their talent, the young players will be hard pushed to make it past Tooting, but I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to work it out all the same…