Tag Archives: Bath City

AFC Wimbledon 4 Bath City 0

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…

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Bath City Preview

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;

Brown

Hatton

Blackman

Yakubu

Harris

Moore, S

Minshull

Wellard

Jolley

Kedwell

Moore, L

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…

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Final Promotion Places From The Regional Divisions Decided

Bath City and Fleetwood Town become the 22nd and 23rd sides to confirm their places in next years Conference Nation, after a couple of tight play-off finals in front of huge crowds were decided by a single goal this afternoon.

In the North, big spending Fleetwood overcame Alfreton 2-1 thanks to a goal in the 78th minute in front of 3592 at a packed Highbury (Fleetwood version, not North London posh peoples conversion flats of course…). Dons fans can look forward to packing their buckets and spades as Fleetwood is just a few miles north of Blackpool and a favourable early/late season Saturday fixture could be combined with a weekend at the seaside with a tramride up to Fleetwood in the afternoon to take in the game. Fleetwood Town FC actually have a pretty interesting history, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to touch upon that later in the week.

Bath City overcame Woking in the Southern Final 1-0 in front of over four thousand at Twerton Park, including an apparent 1800 travelling supporters. Sadly our ‘friends’ from further down the South West mainline have at least another season in the BSS to look forward to, reducing their dreams of meeting the mighty AFC Wimbledon in a League fixture still further. Like Fleetwood, Bath will be an enjoyable trip, one we have made twice before, a late Alan Inns goal salvaging a point in a 2-2 draw in August ’08, before a December visit to then-tenants Team Bath saw Wimbledon take the points with a 2-1 victory.

Which means the current lineup for next season is as follows;

AFC Wimbledon

Altrincham

Barrow

Bath City

Cambridge United

Crawley Town

Darlington

Eastbourne Borough

Fleetwood Town

Gateshead

Grimsby Town

Hayes and Yeading

Histon

Kettering Town

Kidderminster Harriers

Luton Town

Mansfield Town

Newport County

Rushden & Diamonds

Salisbury City

Southport

Tamworth

Wrexham

The defeated side in the Conference Play-Off Final between Oxford United and York City.

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