Tag Archives: Danny Webb

AFC Wimbledon 4 Salisbury City 0 – A Match Report

Strange as it may sound, I left the stadium ever so slightly disappointed this evening… I wanted to hear Hawaii 5-0 over the tannoy! Although the habit of playing music after goals shouldn’t be encouraged I suppose… Not when we now seem to have kicked that one… 

5-0 would have been hugely unfair on a spirited Salisbury team who made life difficult for Wimbledon despite the disadvantage of being down to ten men, and were only killed off by a couple of Dons goals in a mad final minute of normal time, when tiredness lead to a couple of individual errors.

On a lovely evening for watching football, Dons fans turned up in their droves for our first night game, and return after two tough games on the road. Again I missed kickoff, this time standing in a vast queue for season ticket holders, before realising that one of our group needed to pay cash and heading for the much shorter normal turnstiles. I only missed a couple of minutes and to be fair the game was just bedding in (so there are no excuses for a poor report today!).

And some people were still entering the stadium eleven minutes in, thankfully not missing a moment of brilliance by Luke Moore. He picked up the ball just inside the Salisbury half, ran towards goal, and as the Salisbury defence backed off let fly with a right foot shot from fully thirty yards out that curled away from the keeper and into the top right hand corner of the goal.

Now Luke Moore has been threatening to do something like that since he first pulled on a Wimbledon shirt, but this superb strike was just the beginning of as fine an individual performance as I can remember seeing over the past few years. Going forward, especially on the break, everything seemed to go through Moore. Moore however, was simply the cherry on the cake of a magnificent team performance.

Salisbury didn’t manage an effort on target all evening, their first chance falling on the quarter hour was blazed well over. The ball was immediately sent down field and some poor defensive positioning led to Jon Main finding the ball at his feet running through the left channel and into the box. Unfortunately Main hesitated when he could have shot immediately, and the chance was spurned.

Salisbury may have had problems at the back, but they still caused the Dons some problems going forwards, Matt Tubbs failing to finish a well worked move on the right with a clean strike, instead screwing wide of the near post from the edge of the penalty are on twenty minutes. This was the last shaky moment the Dons defence had in the first half, the remainder belonging almost completely to Wimbledon.

Luke Moore showed how he can create a chance from nearly nothing midway through the half, taking a ball out of the sky onto his chest before whipping a lovely ball across the face of the Salisbury goal. I can only imagine neither Main or Kedwell really expected to see such a quality ball arrive as neither of them were in a position to attack the ball. Once again it shouldn’t take long for either of them to click on to the way Moore plays, and sensing a low ball rather than hanging back to attack a high cross would have resulted in a tap in for either frontmen.

Ricky Wellard had been given the chance of a first start, and played well enough. The game seemed to pass him by at some points, yet he worked hard, once he gets up to speed in this division he could prove a great signing. On one occasion he did chose the wrong option, on 27 minutes when he found the ball at his feet thirty yards out and tried a Luke Moore type effort of his own. This sadly flew high and wide, when he could have taken an easier option by playing in Hussey down the left, who had been beating his man for fun. I don’t begrudge him choosing to strike at goal, the fact he felt the confidence to do so will benefit him the day he hits one and it does fly in.

In fact the only real weak link (and its arguable that we even had one) was turning out to be Jon Main. He doesn’t seem to be working on instincts at the moment. Whether it is the higher standard of defending, or he is just getting use to new team mates, I don’t know. But he seems to be short of confidence right now, shown earlier in the half and on the half hour mark when he was sent clear by a flick down the left. Held up by his man, he delayed playing the obvious ball to Moore, who was free inside him. This threw Moore slightly, to the point that when the ball arrived to him he seemed to have got there before it, causing him to stumble on striking and seeing the ball bobble wide of the left post.

Main was to curse his ponderous nature in the penalty area once more five minutes before half time. Moore slipped him in and clear on goal, yet once more he failed to pull the trigger early and found himself robbed of the ball by a fantastic last ditch challenge. Fortunately for the Dons, Sam Hatton was on hand to pick up the pieces, but he too elected not to hit it first time. Instead he cut back inside, taking the last defender out of play completely but also knocking the ball away from goal slightly, meaning when he reached the ball and shot with his left foot, keeper Bittner had closed him down, getting enough on the shot for it to loop up and bounce just wide of the left post.

If the Dons fans thought they saw entertainment in the first half, well they were in for a treat during the second… although not always for the purest of football reasons… The fun began in the 47th minute, well the fun began for everyone except Sean Clohessy – he had to be substituted with a rather nasty head injury. His replacement was every-ones favourite former Dons target man Danny Webb, now reborn as a defender at Salisbury (mind you, Danny did do a fantastic job of keeping the ball out of the net during his Wimbledon days….).

No sooner had Webb made his entrance than Jon Main almost made his exit prematurely. Picking the ball up on the half way line, perhaps a bit of his frustration came to a head as he overhit the ball and flew in over the top with both feet raised. Perhaps realising Main, as a forward, has absolutely no idea how to tackle, the referee showed leniency and only showed a yellow card. If the official had seen any kind of malice in the frontmans challenge however, the second half could have turned out a whole lot differently for Wimbledon.

One thing I have said recently about Main is at least he is finding himself on the end of goalscoring opportunities. A player who is perhaps unfairly cited as doing nothing for 89 minutes then scoring will find himself criticised for not hitting the back of the net. Yet if you watch him closely he does buzz around the oppositions back four, perhaps not winning possession himself too often but certainly pressuring defenders enough to hustle them into allowing our midfield to pick the ball up easier.

The only photo I took that cameout...

The only photo I took that came out...

Yet like Kedwell, this is just the bare minimum we should expect from Main. Unlike Kedwell he doesn’t bring other players into the game and create chances almost out of nothing by sheer willpower alone. He showed these qualities to create Mains last contribution to the evening, picking up the ball wide right before beating his man, using his strength to hold him off before whipping in a decent cross. Main, just inside the area, could only direct it wide of the near post having throwing himself at the ball and perhaps getting a little too much on it.

As soon as was practically possible after the hour mark, Terry Brown made his usual change. Main found himself hauled off once more, and it is perhaps telling that the only time a substitution has worked in his favour was when he was brought on to change the game against Luton. Ricky Wellard was also sacrificed after an important hour of experience gained, replaced by Derek Duncan and Lewis Taylor to exploit the wide areas.

The changes seemed to spark Salisbury into life, and they spurned their best effort of the night. A free kick given following an immaculate Sam Hatton challenge was drilled just wide of the top right corner by an unidentified Salisbury man (hey… at least I’m honest about it…). Then came, from another freekick – this time from deep, a chance for Danny Webb, attacking the ball from the left side of the area and knocking a looping header just wide of the right post.

Just as it seemed Salisbury were about to gain a foothold on the game, they fell apart in the 70th minute. As their defence pushed forward, a Derek Duncan through ball saw Luke Moore rush clear, round Bittnerbefore being cut down by the goalkeeper. A penalty, but maybe worse for the visitors was the referee chose not to ignore this particular red card offence. Salisbury are running with a very small squad at the moment, so a substitute goalkeeper wasn’t an option.

Instead, to the delight of the vast midweek crowd, Danny Webb took the gloves and jersey (slightly too small jersey) and stood up to Danny Kedwell. The Dons hitman hit a penalty way too good for Webb, who perhaps found himself a little dazzled by the situation, watching the ball fly low and hard to his right. 2-0 Wimbledon, and at that stage it seemed as though a Luke Moore driven Dons could get any number of goals in the last twenty minutes.

Instead Salisbury regrouped, and were professional about the task in hand. In fact they looked the better side for periods in the last twenty. Wimbledon grew frustrated, chasing shadows, Lewis Taylor needlessly booked for a late challenge, and Derek Duncan was penalised for a strong challenge with his elbow raised to the opponents head – once more if the referee had seen this from a different angle he may have chosen to punish Duncan slightly more than just issuing a free kick against him.

Webb’s big moment came on 82 minutes. Another Kedwell run down the right lead to him knocking a tantalising cross low across the six yard box. Taylor missed it at the near, but it looked odds on Hatton would slam it home at the far a la his Wycombe Cup goal last season. However Webb got over brilliantly to keep out his left foot effort, as Wimbledon fans started to feel perhaps they wouldn’t be seeing any more goals on this occasion.

After a period of further frustration, which saw Ben Judge flash an effort from 30 yards low across the face of goal and just wide of the left post, Wimbledon added to their tally in the last minute of normal time. A hopeful Duncan ball over the top found Kedwell, who spun past his man perhaps a little too easily. Against a regular goalkeeper his heavy second touch would have been picked up, but Webb looked like a small animal caught in the headlights of a juggernaut, too late moving forward and allowing Kedwell to stab across him into the far corner for his fourth of the season.

Almost from the restart, and as the fourth official was preparing to show stoppage time on the board, Moore robbed a Salisbury man, ran on and tucked the ball seemingly through Webb and into the back of the net. Finally Wimbledon had made the most of their man advantage, and lack of experience between the sticks.

There was time for another scare to the Salisbury goal as a Ben Judge up and under spilled out of Webb’s hands and onto his head, somehow remaining there for what seemed like several seconds as he spun on the spot trying to locate it. He finished this circus trick by recovering and gratefully clutching the ball. It almost finished on a huge downer for the Dons, as Kedwell pulled up in the corner as if he had strained something – he managed to walk off albeit gingerly, raising hopes that perhaps all was not as bad as Wimbledon heads may fear.

Positive thinking may be what is required from Dons fans – 24 hours later there is no news on the injury (although I have heard that’s supposed to be good news…). Yet losing Kedwell will be like playing with ten men at the moment. While Moore and Taylor are equally strong at holding the ball up and bringing others into play, neither has the extra dimension of being an aerial outlet. Plus with or without Kedwell, Saturdays trip to Altrincham will be tough. We must see three points from places like this as a bonus rather than an expectation, which brings home the importance of decent home form.

Wimbledon added to their tally tonight, and did so in style. If clubs like Salisbury can be dispatched with such minimal fuss, we aren’t going to have any worries. In fact, some people have already started to talk of the playoffs – a little too early perhaps, but as I have said previously, we do not need to fear failure… or ambition. In fact, a little bit of expectation may not be a bad thing for our young side to experience right now…

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AFC Wimbledon v Salisbury City – A Match Preview

salisburyDanny Webb. Performing brilliantly for Salisbury as a centre half. I SHIT YOU NOT. I thought someone was having a windup on the Old Centrals when I was doing a bit of research (read – hoping someone had posted a couple of links therefore doing my research for me…). So I immediately rushed to the first Salisbury forum I could find.

And there they were. Comments with no hint of irony, such as…

My MOM Danny Webb controlled performance at the back…

Super Danny Webb! Webby’s a legend!!!!!

And strangely…

He’s big he’s white Pays Women to Strip at night Danny Webb Danny Webb

I don’t know why, but this makes me feel strangely superior to Salisbury and their supporters. Surely this is not the same Webb that lumbered about making Ryman League defenders look impressive? How bad must the rest of their team be?! Of course, this is probably some plan to lull us all into a false sense of security, as we roll into TCRRFSKM expecting to see Main and Kedwell absolutely fill their boots, perhaps with young Rapson making his debut towards the end – when what will actually happen will be a nasty surprise to us all?

We all remember when Webb made his cameo in last seasons demolition of Havant – we cheered his every touch, he was that useless. He was held up by many a commentator as an example of how far we had progressed last season. I can only imagine what kind of spiritual encounter he must of had to turn his career around in the manner these Salisbury fans are suggesting. Forget Jesus… this must have had something to do with aliens…

Salisbury themselves were regarded by us as a model club only a year or so ago when Erik went to visit them to pick up some pointers as to some of the problems clubs at higher levels face. Unfortunately after that the economic downturn hit them hard, forcing them to slash their budget in mid-season after losing a number of backers. Good management (in both financial and football terms) plus the implosion of a number of clubs below them meant Salisbury avoided the drop, and they have had a decent start this year… with Chesters 25 point deduction effectively turning the relegation race into a worst-of-three Salisbury will be confident they will have too much for the likes of Hayes, Gateshead and the like. A decent prediction for them this season would be lower-midtable, but a possible takeover and financial fun and games elsewhere could see them finish comfortably above relegation drama.

The thing that is bothering me most about the Salisbury game (apart from Danny Webb…) is the amount of room Salisbury have been allocated just for 100 or so travelling fans… I thought when small visiting support was expected the segregation could be moved to allow Dons fans to stand on the KRE? Plus I’m not sure how many tickets have been sold, or what sort of walk up they are expecting, but this means the total capacity for Dons fans is 4000. Two sections of the ground are completely sold out, with remaining tickets on sale for the John Smith.

I would imagine we would get an impressive crowd tomorrow night. Bear in mind all of those who missed out on Luton, for whatever reason, will be wanting to come tonight, and the fact that the kids are still on holiday, meaning there will be no problem with late nights, and we should be looking at 3500 minimum. Which should set a benchmark for midweek games.

It would have been an idea to allow the Dons fans to spread round a bit, and allow us to benefit from the improved atmosphere which we missed out on against Luton, and will against Oxford, Wrexham and Cambridge. I understand most of the changes that have been made this season. I even understand why, when the new turnstiles are eventually built, visiting supporters will be housed at the Tempest End end of the John Smiths. But this I cannot understand. We were told we would get the opportunity to stand on the KRE when low numbers of visitors were expected… perhaps Erik will explain why in the programme tomorrow?

Oh, and people say I’m fixated on our crowds… that poll is still running by the way…

On to the Dons, more importantly how we will line up. So according to Terry, we will make one or two changes against Salisbury. Trying to guess who these changes will be is difficult but not impossible. For example we may see Ben Judge get a start, and Ricky Wellard come in for his debut (the mindless minority in the JSS are just going to love him, I can tell…). The lineup I have gone for is as follows;

Pullen

Conroy

Hussey

Lorraine

Johnson

Gregory

Duncan

Taylor

Wellard

Kedwell

Moore

Perhaps this is more in hope than expectation, but I would like to see Luke Moore given a runout up front. Terry has used him predominately on the left so far, but he impressed up front during pre-season, so maybe, just maybe, we might see him start there tonight

 A win would be a great springboard to push on in this division. Despite the strength of opposition we face at home over the next month or so, it would be great to come through that with a reputation of being hard to beat at home. A victory tonight would set this up nicely, and with points available on our trips away from Kingsmeadow there is everything to play for before the end of September.

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AFC Wimbledon v FC United of Manchester – A (Friendly) Match Preview

fc unitedTomorrow will see the welcome return of the Supporters Direct Cup to Kingsmeadow, and the even welcomer return of our good friends FC United of Manchester. Always willing to travel south in large numbers, the United support normally create a great atmosphere elevating what should be a run of the mill friendly to something worth winning, and I’m sure Terry has told the players he is expecting a win.

While we consider FCUM as kindred spirits due to their trust ownership, and the media normally straps us together as ‘protest’ clubs, it’s worth remembering that our two extraordinary clubs were formed for entirely different reasons. There’s no value in going into the details of the great betrayal we suffered, although if you want to read all about it on the BBC’s 606 you will find plenty of people who disagree with our very existence as ‘we abandoned our club’… Our aim as a club is to get into the League as soon as possible, to take back what was once stolen from us, and long term to destroy those South Midland club stealers – and to do all this without letting ambition get in the way of long term stability.

FCUM don’t have that urgency to get into the League, and are therefore content for now to focus on their own core reasons for existence. Malcolm Glazer and his collection of strange looking offspring were the straw that broke the camels back (and you have to say its a good job Glazer was loader ‘cos there was no way he was going to get laid in this lifetime without it). United fans want affordable football, to be able to sit/stand with their mates, not to be ripped off week in and week out with ever increasing ticket prices. Plus they have resisted the temptation to slash a slogan across their shirt, and hopefully when they do it will be a gesture towards a charity, as Barcelona have proudly worn the Unicef badge for the last couple of years (although cynics suggest this is to soften up their supporters before a commercial sponsor is introduced).

For them to walk away at a time when big United were at the height of their powers has drawn praise  from all quarters. How often have you heard an Arsenal, Chelsea fan, whoever, start a comment about FCUM with the words ‘I hate Man United but…’. In truth there is a great deal of jealousy for what FCUM have achieved to date from your average Premier League fan, who perhaps hold some hope that football will once again fall from fashion as it has before, and fall back into the hands of those who cherished it through the tough times, local support paying a fair admission price to watch their team.

For that reason I would have expected a greater number of clubs would have reached that tipping point where a critical mass of support decide enough is enough and decide to form another team to hold on to the traditions of the club they love. Of course there is an AFC Liverpool, but they haven’t really caught on and appear to be a cross between publicity stunt and an extension of Liverpool FC’s community arm.

Despite this FCUM have been remarkably successful in their first four seasons. Three successive promotions prior to last season, where despite being in a division full of moneyed clubs and servicing a huge groundshare rental bill, United managed to only miss out on the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Reds are learning as we had previously, that many supporters do not necessarily mean an automatic promotion. There are just as many sugar daddies in the Unibond as there are in the Ryman these days, and the economic meltdown doesn’t seem to have halted this.

FCUM face us off the back of a trip to Bucheon… hang on? Aren’t they supposed to be twinned with us? I know we turned Bucheon down as we had a prearranged trip to… errm… the Isle of Man, but it just seems like when we miss out on something, FCUM pick up the pieces. Remember when Lok Leipzig wanted to play us in a friendly during the season? We turned them down and there was a promise the game would be scheduled for some point in the future, and when it was it turned out AFCW were being elbowed out of the way by FCUM… that should have been us! And what about their trip to Sweden at the end of last season?

Let’s not forget United fans are used to travelling across Europe, it’s been part of their upbringing. On the other hand, we dreamed about playing in Europe, so cruelly denied by a European ban for English clubs that had absolutely nothing to with us in 1988, were given false hope with the Intertoto Cup campaign, even seeing perhaps our best ever team cursed with tiredness despite looking set to qualify via one of three routes. Maybe it was never meant to be. Perhaps the furthest corners of the UK are the most we can ever hope for.

So, on to Wimbledon. The big news being Bossman has gone and a new target man is being lined up for a start tomorrow. So far the mystery man is a big secret except for the information that he is an ‘experienced target man’. This type of player, perhaps with the exception of goalkeepers (more on that later), faces extreme scrutiny from Dons fans who have been spoilt by some of the best in the game over the last twenty years or so (and Danny Webb).

As for our goalkeeper, it seems as though Sebb Brown is getting another run out. At last we have a keeper who deserves the nickname ‘The Cat’, he’s certainly had enough lives so far. After his shaky performance against Wycombe (if you ignore the Hollywood saves toward the end of the half of course), Brown was given a second chance against Brighton, where his only real action was to pick the ball out of the net after seeing it drilled through him as if he wasn’t there. Is Sebb a relative of Terry’s? I think we need to be told!

The truth is my opinion is we already have a better goalkeeper than Brown in Jack Turner. Although Turner is just 17 the phrase ‘if your old enough your good enough’ spring to mind. Jack was given a game on the IOM, yet presumably will be representing the reserves for the remainder of pre-season and beyond, rather than picking up much needed experience against League One opposition. I was also hoping Jack may get a chance to go out on loan at some point to gain first team experience, in the Ryman League, or even the BSS.

The rest of the squad seem to be ticking over nicely. It’s a chance for Chris Hussey to stand up and show what he can do following Derek Duncans Man of the Match performance on Tuesday. Perhaps we will finally see us score at home? Maybe even win another trophy, to bring our tally up to two…

Catch all the action tomorrow, if you can’t make it remember to tune in to WDON and log on to the Matchday Stadium. And if you are at the ground or not you can check my tweets on the game either here in the Twitter feed in the sidebar, or by following me here (http://twitter.com/Anonymous_Don). Remember though, due to the crappy technology I can’t be guaranteed to respond to any of your replies (maybe at half time…). Don’t worry, my phone contract is up later this year and I’m going to make sure I screw the best possible deal out of them this time…

Finally you will remember the legend Paul Raymond offered me his IOM photos earlier in the week, I didn’t take him up on it, but I am now with his picture of the third kit (released tonight, available tomorrow). Enjoy!

Courtesy of Paul Raymond

Courtesy of Paul Raymond

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