Tag Archives: Alan Inns

AFC Wimbledon v York City – A Match Preview

Woah, its been a while since I’ve done one of these… I’m feeling a little out of my comfort zone right now and I’m not sure how to begin. What about…. Ireland. Well I have to say I am surprised by the amount of English people furious over Henry’s assist on Wednesday. I thought it was hilarious. Yet while it was great to see the Irish suffer, the last people you would want to see benefit would be the bloody French… still, one of them had to lose I suppose…

A quick search on google reveals 308,000,000 results for ‘York French’ compared to ‘York Irish’, so presumably using that super-scientific method our northern chums with their Francophile links would probably agree with me on this.

York fans have had their own share of owner related embarrassments over the last few years thanks mainly to a certain John Batchelor. The man who seems to have picked up the franchise madness ball that Winkie first punted northwards from Selhurst Park in 2002 and run with it as far as his legs would carry him. Fortunately (unfortunately for York City at the time) the only time he actually got his hands on the reigns was at Bootham Crescent back in 2002. He was eventually ousted a year or so later, but not before he had changed the York badge and kit so as to feature a chequered flag to represent his previous career as a racing driver. Still his tale has been well documented elsewhere, and sorry to bring him up again, but you just know that someone, somewhere will be stupid enough to sell up to him again.

What else of York? Well I once was taken to the railway museum there when I was just a youngster, and the whole experience was enough to leave me with a lifelong warm glow whenever York is mentioned. Roll on March! A quick glance at a map reveals this would defeat Bradford in the ‘Most Northerly Ground I Ever Visited’ stakes. For some reason I thought my trip to Gillette Stadium in freezing cold New England would have sewn that one up, however it turns out it’s the most southerly stadium I have visited for a game. I’ve only just found that the UK is on the same longitude as Newfoundland… thank god for that Gulf Stream, eh?!

Dons news now, and just when it appeared that he had wormed his way into the starting eleven thanks to some selflessly brave performances in the heart of the defence, reports suggest that Alan Inns may have suffered cruciate knee ligament damage, potentially ending his season and (dare I say it?) his Wimbledon career. We have been good to our injured players especially those who suffer serious knee injuries, although we have had more than our fair share of them over the last couple of years. Inns will get the chance to come back and prove himself at the club, but I just get the impression there will be new faces competing for his position when he gets back.

Sebb Browns inclusion still worries me. He did play well against Barrow, allegedly, yet I still feel he has an error or two in him per game. The worry is he could single-handedly destroy our season if he has a real shocker of a month until Jamie Pullen comes back, by the time he does we could find ourselves out of contention in the league and having crashed from the FA Trophy at the first hurdle. Presumably another cruciate victim, Andy Little, will be looking on envious as he would have been given several chances to claim the number one jersey for himself had he been fit.

Top scorer Danny Kedwell is back however, to lead the line at the possible expense of Ross Montague. Did Montague play well after being given his big chance against Barrow? TB seems to think so, but not many of you seem to agree with him… having said that I’m still going to go with Terry’s opinion, I know how some of you lot think! As many long time readers will remember I was really looking forward to the long trek north, until I found out it clashed with my birthday… therefore with a complete lack of video evidence the Barrow game could have taken place in Narnia for all I know. Perhaps Montague has been left there, as Terry Brown has trumpeted the return of Luis Cumbers to the bench this Saturday.

Apparently Luis has had a bad case of the sniffles recently, ruling him out of the first two weeks of his loan spell that alarmingly hasn’t yet been extended beyond that initial month. Not to worry, after all he might end up being rubbish, but one thing is for sure – the boy Cumbers will get one of the best receptions ever seen for a substitute at Kingsmeadow since Steve Gibson replaced Nick Roddis after 58 minutes of the home game against Tooting on 30th October 2004… though to be fair that had little to do with young Gibson…

The club are expecting a big crowd tomorrow, presumably due to post-Millwall euphoria… or just the fact it seems like we have gone a month without a home game. And then we get two games in four days! Woo! They can’t be expecting a massive turnout from York as they are only getting half the KRE, so presumably the lure of an ex-League club is expected to bring out the part-timers. Especially an ex-League club that has put together a decent side this season. Our home form has been rubbish recently, but perhaps the return of a hero from days of yore will be enough to nudge the game in our favour? It’s too close to call, so we can only hope little positives like this work in our favour.

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AFC Wimbledon v Kidderminster Harriers – A Match Preview

khfcI’ll be honest. I didn’t know much about Kidderminster before I sat down to write this. I know its in Worcestershire. I also know they make a lot of carpets there. Which should make us their natural enemies seeing as though most of South-West London ripped up their wall to wall shag pile years ago for natural hardwood flooring (or at the very least, varnishing the existing floorboards…).

But this is not a preview aimed at mocking Kidderminster (who lets not forget are an ex-League club, for what it’s worth). I’m sure Kidderminster fans know as little about us as we do them. The tightness of the division at this early stage means except for Oxford, we haven’t been able to sit up and pay attention to rivals as much. No-one has really stood out (including us). So maybe they have heard a little about the history, or seen that some bloke called Kedwell has bagged double figures already, but from then on it’s all new.

Fortunately Terry Brown has done his research, and posted his view of Kidderminster shortly after I began writing this, thus destroying any desperation that I may have had concerning the need to possibly do my own research. I had noticed the names Barnes-Homer and Smikle popping up in the scorers section, but the names only stuck because, well, they’re a bit silly. Barnes-Homer sounds like a rugby player and Smikle like something out of Lord of the Rings… although I gather it is pronounced more like the goalkeeper…

Fortunately for me, I write a blog about AFC Wimbledon, so I will concentrate on the home team from here on in. Lets start by throwing a few of those stats back in the Official Sites face! Kidderminster have only lost one in their last six? Well, Wimbledon have lost none in the last seven… or two in the last fourteen. Dodgy home form was alluded to as well. Is this the same slack home form that has seen only one defeat (to the runaway leaders), and three goals conceded?

Anyway, the big news of the day has been the revelation that Luke Garrard has gone to Borehamwood for a short loan spell in order to get some game time under his belt. Indeed the message board has been hot all day with discussion about Luke… sadly not Garrard however, more that knob who has generated a whole load of negative publicity for the club… good work by the way, dickhead. The fact that this story was deemed to be bigger than Garrard’s situation by the fanbase in general suggests (i) some of our fans don’t believe we could be harbouring any troublemakers despite pulling in huge crowds (ii) another section are secretly rubbing themselves off at the news that a serious hooligan was in their midst all this time without them realising, and of course (iii) the news was completely expected.

With Sam doing such a good job at right-back, to the point he seems to have dislodged the excellent Jay Conroy, that third choice Garrard was always going to be in danger of being pushed toward the exit door. I can understand why he asked to go on loan. If he does get the chance to leave in January, he can put himself in the shop window now. On the other hand, the club will want to keep him ready should the Hatton experiment fail, or we suffer a midfield injury crisis, or Jay Conroy gets injured or suspended.

Moving on, it’s slightly worrying to find there appears to be a virus sweeping through the squad. Even more worrying is that it seemed to originate from Jon Main, the striker for whom everything he has touched this year seems to have turned to shit. I can’t help but think Mainy must have run over a dozen black cats, pissed off a lot of gypsies, and smashed dozens of mirrors (probably during shooting practice…). Either that or he is saving it all up for the biggest goal in the clubs history, probably to win the replay that takes us to Old Trafford in the FA Cup or something…

Paul Lorraine has been affected by man-flu too, which a few weeks ago may have caused some panic, but one of the repeated knocks on the head that Alan Inns has received seems to have turned him into a quality Conference centre-half. Innsy apparently drew blood for the cause once again at Rushden on Tuesday, although he can now no longer remembers where he lives… the other player affected is Ricky Wellard… I know, when I read that I thought ‘thank fuck its no-one important’ too, but the chance this disease could be on the spread is cause for concern.

Hopefully we will see a bigger crowd than the one that graced us last week however. If you have a mate thats been talking of taking in an AFCW game then this week might be the week to bring them. Although, despite the close nature of the division I hope the fact we are fourth may have an impact, as any fair-weather floaters may have been put of by our awful form dropping us down to twelfth… either that or there are several hundred of us who are really put off by draws (like Mrs Anonymous Don, brought up in a country where winners are everything, losers are nothing, and those who draw are communists… I had to explain to her last week why in reality it’s not really preferable to ‘sometimes wish they lost as its better than drawing’…).

Predicted line up time…

Pullen

Hatton

Hussey

Lorraine/Inns

Johnson

Gregory

Adjei

Taylor

Moore

Kedwell

Montague

Firstly, its not cheating if someone is touch and go due to illness that I select an alternative. Secondly I really think this one stands a great chance of being the first time I get it 100% right. I know it Terry pretty much gave it away and it was virtually identical to Tuesday, but still, allow me a rare victory. As usual, it would be great to hear your opinions, especially those who agree with me…

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Tamworth 2 AFC Wimbledon 2 – A Match Report

The Dons fantastic start has increased my expectations to such an extent that coming out of the ground yesterday, I couldn’t help feel slightly disappointed we hadn’t stolen the game in the second half. Yes, at half time I had given up hope of seeing any points, especially when I saw the two substitutions as the players came back out.

But we Dons have been spoilt by our team, as I have said before. And Tamworth really didn’t look anything special, which perhaps sums up our poor first half performance Plus some moronic MK chants from a section of the Tamworth support really made me want the lads to ruin their day with a winner.

It had started off, erm, cold. Tamworth is a grim looking place, with the stadium stuck on what looked like a piece of waste ground. They have done their very best to turn it into a Conference standard stadium though, aside from a horrendous slope from left to right (as seen from the away end). On the whole the locals were friendly (ignoring the MK stuff), yet a piece in their programme bemoaned the lack of locals turning up to watch the team, spending equivalent amounts of money watching games in local pubs.

The addition of a few hundred extra supporters and the money they will bring is probably all Tamworth need to stabilize as a Conference club. Not that they will have many problems staying up this season, especially after the start they have made this term.

The Dons fans travelled in their numbers once more, packing out the admittedly small away section and visitors seats, with a few more in the home section of the stand boosting numbers slightly above the 645 that officially entered. You wonder how Tamworth will cope when Luton arrive, with numbers in four figures rather than the high threes, yet the same could be said of a number of clubs – perhaps ourselves included.

Wimbledon fielded a slightly weakened starting lineup, with Luke Moore at the top of the diamond. No Derek Duncan meant Kenedy Adjei kept his place, moving to the left side of midfield, with Hatton and Gregory completing the quartet. It seems Steven Gregory had suffered a family bereavement during the week, for which the players wore black armbands in respect, and he showed a great deal of bravery stepping out for the team on an occasion when no Dons fans would have begrudged him spending time with his family instead.

Defensively, no Judge or Lorraine meant a first start this season for Alan Inns at centre half. As usual Jamie Pullen took his place between the sticks, yet unbeknown to us supporters was carrying an injury that he picked up during the warm-up, something that may have played a part in his erratic first half performance.

The players took the field to the strains of ‘Let Me Entertain You’, which was cringeworthy enough to provoke groans from Dons fans around me. That, and the overenthusiastic PA man, are a curse seemingly every club in provincial towns up and down the country seems to have fallen for, capped by the local village idiot parading round in full Tamworth kit and a lambs head (and since when have lambs taken to wearing keepers gloves?).

Wimbledon looked uncomfortable right from kickoff. Maybe it had something to do with the slope, or the changes made to the team, either way it didn’t look like it was going to be our day at all. Nick Wright created Tamworth’s first chance for himself on three minutes, cutting inside Alan Inns before guiding a tame effort into Pullens arms. It should have been a wake up call for the Dons, but just lead to more chaotic defending and misplaced passes.

Wright has been called up to the forthcoming England C squad along with team mate Alex Rodman, and it was Rodman that spurned the Lambs next chance, mishitting his right foot effort that still beat a scrambling Pullen, rolling just wide of his left post. I have to say, despite Rodman and Wright causing us problems today, if they are the England C benchmark then the likes of Luke Moore and even Sam Hatton should consider themselves unlucky not to have received a callup.

It seemed only a matter of time before either Wimbledon sorted themselves out defensively or Tamworth took advantage, and sadly it was the latter. A throughball was heading back to Pullen, and although he seemed in control of the situation, Jake Sheridan was chasing up to put pressure on the Dons keeper. Pullen seemed to have made his mind up to pick the ball up, yet at the last moment changed his mind and kicked it.

Maybe if Pullen hadn’t been thinking of his injury he might have realised the ball was on the edge of the area, and if he had just dropped on it and smothered then he could have made the best of a bad job. Instead his kick cannoned off Sheridan and flew in the bottom right corner of the net. On another day it would have flown out for a goalkick, but following our early season good fortune our luck seems to be turning after Oxford somehow escaped Kingsmeadow with the points last week.

Wimbledon finally created a chance on the quarter hour. Some persistent play by Jay Conroy saw him work a shooting opportunity from twenty-five yards, but his firmly hit strike flew straight into Tamworth keeper Danny Alcock’s arms. At the time, Conroy had just resumed full back duties after a spell at centre half after Alan Inns had to leave the field following a nasty gash to his head.

Unfortunately although Inns would gladly stick his head into a cement mixer if it meant there was a chance of defending the Dons goal, he isn’t made of stone (we probably forget that sometimes, and Inns himself definitely does…). A patched up Innsy returned to the field sporting a replacement or his bloodied shirt and a huge head bandage. And it only took one more commanding header to see that bandage slip off.

Really Inns should never have returned to the field. I would imagine his insistence to return was probably the reason he did, although he didn’t give the impression that he really knew where he was. There was always a danger he could have seen Tamworths red shirts, thought he was back playing for Trumpton and started challenging Dons players in the air. Innsy was eventually removed from the action, to a rousing reception from the Dons fans and good appreciation from the Tamworth supporters – despite the chanting later which was only from a minority of fans, it was good to see the majority of them know bravery from a footballer when they see it.

Lewis Taylor replaced him, with Sam Hatton moving back to fullback and Jay Conroy at centre half once more. Conroy really impressed me after the switch. He is a brilliant fullback, but has a defensive brain that he could probably apply to any defensive position. Knowing Jay can play this position must be a huge boost to Terry Brown, who seems to have run out of centre halves after having four at the start of the season.

Despite this setback things started to look up for the Dons, a short spell of pressure followed featuring our best chance of the half, a scuffed Kennedy Adjei strike seemed to be completely misjudged by Alcock who just watch it rebound of his right post and back into open play. Then on the half hour Gregory found space to fire a shot that seemed destined for the bottom left hand corner until Alcocks last minute intervention diverted it round the post.

Both sides played out the remainder of the half with some pretty shocking football. I’m not sure either side had any excuses, the Dons just couldn’t get their passing game going and were relying on long balls to Kedwell which may have been more effective if they were directed anywhere near the frontman. The players must have taken a small amount of hope from the fact their hosts were only slightly better than them, and you got the impression that if they could just get it together there still might be a way back into the game for them.

Not that it looked likely, especially following the use of both remaining substitutes during the interval. Pullen was removed from action having suffered a shocker (including being mocked by the Tamworth goalkeeping coach… obviously big Jamie wasn’t actually there to witness this, the guy being a coward and all…), being replaced by Sebb Brown.

Regular readers will know Browns performances in what should have been his trial period left me with little faith in the kid, and when he signed I promised to back him 100%… well I never expected him to actually get onto the pitch! Fortunately all Sebb had to do was the one thing he appeared quite good at during his trial period – kicking the ball clear.

Steven Gregory was also replaced by Elliott Godfrey. Gregory hadn’t actually had too bad a game. He gave the ball away a couple of times, but there probably wasn’t a Dons player on the pitch who hadn’t also. I can only imagine he had been affected by recent problems more than he thought he would.

Naturally with all the changes I saw the best case scenario as keeping the score down, and maybe notching a consolation goal that kept our hopes up until settling for a battling defeat. Yet, something clicked. Wimbledon immediately started looking dangerous. The ball found its way to Hatton on the right, who somehow worked space for a cross down by the corner flag. It was a delightful ball that found Danny Kedwell in plenty of space to guide his header across Alcock and into the far corner.

It certainly sparked the Dons fans into life (although the support was already pretty impressive, just perhaps a little resigned to our fate). The Dons were looking good but still in danger of being caught on the counter, Michael Blackwood striking straight at Brown. Then Wimbledon levelled the scores thanks to Kedwell again. A brilliant Hussey corner found Kedwell, who had lost his marker and had the easiest job of slamming his header into the back of the net.

I have to say I’m really proud for Danny Kedwell right now. When he joined last year he started with a flood of goals, before finding he was better at creating goals than scoring them. After that he seemed lose his scoring touch a bit, and he was never prolific at this level with Grays, so to see him second in the scoring charts right now is a pleasant surprise to us all. Maybe he won’t bang them away as frequently as he is now for the rest of the campaign, but by then perhaps our midfielders will discover their goalscoring touch…

If either side was going to win this game, Wimbledon now looked the more likely. Kennedy Adjei blazed an effort over seconds later. Then on the hour Sam Hatton found a shooting opportunity from a tight angle on the right, but couldn’t find the target. Elliott Godfrey found Lewis Taylor on the right who cut inside two defenders before lifting over and wide. Of course, perhaps it was better that none of these efforts made their way towards goal for fear a midfielder might actually score this season…

Luke Moore doesn’t count. He may have topped the diamond today, but his two strikes against Salisbury were both notched while supporting Kedwell up front. Today from his midfield position he couldn’t hit a milk producing animal with a medium sized stringed instrument. He lead an incisive break from his own half, and as the Tamworth defence backed away could only drag his shot from twenty yards wide of the left post.

Wimbledon had to stay switched on at the back, particularly to defend their inexperienced keeper. Jay Conroy in particular pulled of a couple of magnificent last gasp challenges to prevent Tamworth players a shot on goal. It was this type of danger that prevented the hosts from really threatening the Dons goal, although they did have a lot of possession as the game wore on.

Mostly it was wasted, the ball returned to a Dons player, and on a couple of occasions we saw a promising Wimbledon break halted early thanks to some quite cynical challenges. These drew yellow cards from the referee, but succeeded in negating the threat of these potential counter attacks.

Wimbledon have been awarded a few penalties already this season. The reason for this has been our speed of movement in the opposition penalty area, and outstanding close control confusing defenders, drawing fouls. While not all of those awarded this season have been clear cut, all of them were earned and deserved.

The problem is I don’t believe referees actually like giving penalties. Even the guy at Grays really didn’t want to give them, we got two because they were so obvious the linesmen were able to confirm what he had seen yet didn’t give the third – the most obvious of the lot. Perhaps the official who took charge of yesterdays games had noticed this statistic? He certainly didn’t seem to want to give us one at Tamworth.

Firstly, Elliott Godfrey burst into the box at pace, only to find himself dumped on the ground thanks to both of his legs being removed from under him. I have to say I wasn’t expecting a penalty to be given, it was borderline whether the offense was inside or outside of the area so thought the referee might give the benefit of the doubt and give a free kick. However he decided on this occasion he had seen a dive, and booked a clearly shocked Godfrey.

The second one was maybe more clear cut. Lewis Taylor weaved his way into the area only to be bundled over. This time the referee allowed play to continue. I’m not sure what he thought he saw, but he can’t have seen this as a Taylor dive as no yellow was forthcoming. So what then? Did Taylor just fall over? Or is body checking an opponent now a legal challenge, even when the ball is nowhere near?

It was around this time we heard those MK chants. As I said previously, not all Tamworth fans were a bad bunch, but still couldn’t they self police? After all, as I have said before if any Dons fan acts like a dick around me I don’t have a problem (kindly) bringing it up with them where necessary. The MK chants signal a lack of class, self respect even. It’s pure jealousy, and the majority of Tamworth fans don’t deserve being tarred with that particular brush.

While we are on the subject of Them by the way, it was great to see they threw away the lead at home to Huddersfield on Saturday. I’ve always liked Huddersfield, even more so as one of their supporters chose to come and support us rather than enter the Winkiedome. That’s another reason why Tamworth were ill advised taking the MK option (after all I’m sure there must be other, more original, chants that might hurt us equally badly…), that is that neutral eyes don’t look kindly on it either…

The game ultimately petered out in a serious of attacks and counter-attacks from both sides that threatened much and delivered little. Wimbledon failed to strike the killer blow when they had the momentum, but its was a fantastic effort to take a point from a game Tamworth didn’t deserve to lose due to their organisation and persistence in the first half.

Wimbledon now head into a free week, undoubtedly we shall drop a few places while the rest of the Conference have a full match week, and return to action against Cambridge next week looking to complete the visit of a trio of big hitters with a win against a side bang on form after destroying Forest Green 7-0 at the weekend.

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