Tag Archives: St Albans City

AFC Wimbledon 3 St Albans 0 – A Match Report

img111What a lovely day to finish the season. Bright sunshine, a few fluffy clouds, warm enough to not have to worry about what you were wearing – classic end of season weather that makes you think for a moment that perhaps football was meant to be a summer game… until you feel the desire to go home immediately and flagellate yourself for even contemplating such blasphemy.

On arrival at the stadium I could see people had taken heed of the warnings to arrive early, the stadium being half full by the time I entered at 2.30 and found my place in the John Smiths (because I am old, and I do indeed stink of piss…). Awards were being given out like they were going out of fashion; Jon Main the Junior Dons Player Of The Year, Ben Judge the WDON Player Of The Year, and Chris Hussey collecting The WUP Young Player Of The Year. Plus you know its an ‘occasion’ when PISA are the match sponsors, these days Phillo pronounces it as in the city rather than the ‘pisser’ from days of yore, although to be fair a number of them did appear to be leaning…

The Champions emerge...

The Champions emerge...

The team line up was interesting. There was a first appearance for Argentine goalkeeper Nicky Gindre, and to be honest it will probably be his last. This seemed more a selection on compassionate grounds, to say thank you from helping us out and providing cover for Pullen. Although Andy Little will probably be out until Christmas, I can’t see Gindre remaining on a short term contract to provide cover, he’s worthy of someone’s first team. Andy Sambrook also got the start at right back, again I can’t see Sambrook staying with Garrard coming back to fitness, Conroy looked the more impressive of the two, or there’s always a chance we may bring in someone proven at Conference level in the summer. As well as this there were starts for Kennedy Adjei and Jake Leberl, with a highly impressive bench of Hatton, Godfrey, Pullen, Hussey and Judge.

A sea of colour in The Tempest

A sea of colour in The Tempest

St Albans signalled their intent from the beginning, by giving a team that weren’t yet champions the traditional champions guard of honour. And the celebrations started even earlier than expected, before the game even started with Captain Goodliffe wheeling away with fists clenched after winning the toss in the knowledge they’ll be attacking the Tempest in the second half. Its great to know the players care about that sort of thing but it must be a kick in the teeth for the Kingston Road End regulars, who do make a lot of noise. In fact they out sang the Tempest for a while in the first half, with a cheeky version of ‘Can you hear the Tempest sing?’.

The Dons signalled their intent from the off, with a lightening counter leaving Finn and Kedwell two on two, Finn surged down the left channel but dawdled on it too long and was cleanly tackled in the box. Having too long with the ball and not knowing what to do with it seemed to be an affliction spreading across the front line, as shortly after Jon Main found himself clean through with only the keeper to beat. He let it bounce once, twice, three times steadying himself, then he let it bounce again, then once more for luck, by which time a defender nipped in, not believing his luck.

Kennedy celebrates the first goal

Kennedy celebrates the first goal

He may be top scorer in the BSS this season, and the man who scored the goal that won us promotion, but he approached this chance like a toddler attempting to kick the ball for the first time. I am seriously starting to believe someone has leapt into his body, Quantum Leap style, in the last couple of weeks. His actions were not those of a striker you would expect to take the Conference by storm. Perhaps he was trying to take the piss and it backfired? Either way, shocking miss.

It seemed as though Wimbledon were happy to stroll this one, although great work by Kedwell won a corner on the left after 15, which ended up being half cleared for Taylor to control brilliantly into Tom Davis path, but the tanned midfield maestro could only float the ball just wide of the top left corner, with Saints keeper Bastock appearing to have it covered. The Dons created several chances where they didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as each other, notably when Taylor and the ever-ponderous Main left the ball to each other on the edge of the box when well placed to shoot.

Kedwell heads across goal and over

Kedwell heads across goal and over

Of course, as far as 4721 people in the stadium were concerned, any goal action was a bonus; they’d only come to see the side crowned champions amid a happy, positive atmosphere. Except Old Grumpy behind me (who actually does stink of piss…), who decided the side just wouldn’t be worthy league winners unless they put St Albans to the sword. He was muted today, partly because with the huge crowd he probably couldn’t see that much (and believe me I took great pleasure in blocking his view as often as possible). The other great moaning ringleader, who I like to call Mr Nooooooooo, didn’t seem to make an appearance today. Probably didn’t get a ticket and is stuck at home right now still going on about it. I wonder what these people find to moan about in the summer?

Moving on… these random forages forward built into what could be described as a spell of pressure around the half hour mark. Finn put Main through to stab wide, but he had moved too soon and the flag went up anyway, then a lovely exchange between Finn and Adjei down the left almost created a chance for Main at the near post, but Bastock did well to smother.

wot no goal action?

wot no goal action?

Then, a moment of comedy. A Finn free kick from near the half way line drifted over a number of Dons players, a defender let the ball bounce which almost did for Bastock. The keeper was forced to scurry back to his line and watch as the ball dropped narrowly over. Simmering resentments came to the boil and Bastock rushed out to confront his colleague, bumping him repeatedly so everyone knew who was at fault.

This served to spark his team mates from their slumber as the game was heading into the break, creating a number of chances all spurned by Bradley Gray. Firstly he could only drag his shot wide when well positioned. Then Wimbledon allowed him too much space 25 yards from goal and his fierce drive just flew wide with Gindre scrambling. Finally Gray flashed a header that Gindre earned his start (and clean sheet) by keeping out brilliantly, before the ball was scrambled away. This was too much for captain Goodliffe, advising his team loudly they were ‘Always fucking second, we’re not good enough’.

Bastock beats Finn to a loose ball

Bastock beats Finn to a loose ball

Half time saw the announcement that Ben Judge had also received WISA Player Of The Year, celebrity Don Alun Armstrong on hand to dish out the awards. Plus another amazing effort in the Square Up competition (I wasn’t concentrating enough to realise who it was – sorry mate) where one of the finalists managed a plus 30 score – something I would have a bit difficulty with using a round ball.

Wimbledon seemed to have taken heed of their captains’ words before half time. Not only were they first to the ball they started playing some excellent football, worthy of champions. They were in control of the ball, keeping it moving then attacking with pacy passing play. It lead to a goal, Davis found himself facing a packed defence, and fed the ball to Finn 30 yards from goal and central. Finn found Adjei on the edge of the box, and some wonderful footwork saw him beat a man before firing low into the bottom left corner. Kennedy Adjei was majestic today. The slightly slower pace of the game suited him, and like Finn he seemed to have the ball fixed to his boot at times. Perhaps if these two players stay on we may see more of them over the winter periods next term, especially when playing on better quality pitches away from home. Shortly after Finn skipped past a defender before floating his shot just wide.

Hatton scores

Hatton scores

Sam Hatton replaced Lewis Taylor, and Jon Main ended the season with 34 goals, replaced by Elliott Godfrey, as the Dons dominance continued. St Albans were tame, their only real effort on goal at the start of the half being a poor effort blasted wide from 30 yards by Hector Mackie when well placed. The Saints were also fortunate that Wimbledon were knocked out of their stride briefly following a number of baffling decisions by referee Ganfield, repeatedly blowing up against Kedwell for what looked like perfectly legal challenges.

Hatton was to grab his twelfth goal of the season midway through the half. He almost met a Kedwell cross which was recovered by Finn, who rounded two St Albans men with ease before delivering the perfect centre for Hatton, still lurking in the six yard box, to power his header past Bastock and into the net. The Dons had the scent of more goals; good set up play by Godfrey saw Davis fire straight at Bastock, his last input for the season before being replaced by Hussey.

The final whistle goes

The final whistle

Hussey made his mark on the game immediately. His ball across fell to Godfrey, who saw his low shot well pushed round the post by Bastock low to his right. The fans who came out in strength for a celebration, were also fortunate enough to be seeing a vintage Dons performance, albeit one against a side who already had their holidays in mind. The Saints did fashion one last chance ten minutes from time, when a corner found Adam Everitt free at the far post, only for him to steer it well over the bar. I think St Albans had read the script beforehand and didn’t seem to want to waste too much energy trying to spoil the party, and the Dons were the only team who looked like scoring. Haswell, Godfrey and Finn combined brilliantly to create a chance for Kedwell at the near post, his effort was blocked by the keeper as Kedwell seemed to be brought down, of course Ganfield was always going to say no but in truth there wasn’t much there.

As thoughts turned to the trophy, and the fans seemed content for time to tick down, there was one last twist. It was apt that when a cross from the by-line was blocked, it was our captain on hand to grab his first of the season in front of the Tempest. Ok it was from two yards, but lets take nothing away from our inspirational leader, a man who will quite happily run through walls if his manager instructed him to, and an experienced old head that has been a fantastic example to the younger players. As Goodliffe sees another season pass him by, I hope despite his age there is still a place for him at the club next year, even if he doesn’t start as many games, he will still useful as a substitute against less pacy teams, and I can’t think of anyone else who deserves to be our club captain more than him.

The skipper shows off the trophy

The skipper shows off the trophy

While Goodliffe deserved to bookend the season, I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded if Anthony Finns late curling effort from the left corner of the box had dropped under the bar instead of bouncing off it. This wonderful right foot effort would have been a contender for goal of the season had it found the net. I had Johan Cruyffs comment to the Barcelona press running through my head that ‘When you are 4-0 ahead with 10 minutes to go, it’s better to hit the post a couple of times so the crowd can go ‘oooh!’ and ‘aaaah!’ Then you get angry as if you hadn’t meant to. I just always loved that sound when the ball hits the post hard…’. Not that I’m comparing Finn with Cruyff… There was still time for Kennedy to make a run unchallenged from his own half into the St Albans box, he could have picked out a team mate but hesitated and Bastock smothered.

 

Lap of honour

Lap of honour

Then, the final whistle. Another season over, another successful season at that. The player filed off and the supporters waited patiently for their return, in their ‘back2back promotion’ t-shirts, singing along to ‘We Are The Champions’ very badly. The sponsors erected a makeshift podium, leaving the trophy tantalisingly on display. Finally the players emerged once more from the tunnel, one by one (as you can see from the video on yesterdays post), until finally it was time for Goodliffe to stride on and a Dons captain lifted silverware once more. The crowd soaked up one last lap of honour before the players left for the final time.

 I would imagine it got a bit messy in the bars that evening. I didn’t stay. I did linger at the gates as I left, looking at the ground one last time before heading home, despite the overpowering feeling of victory, it quickly dissipates in the knowledge there are new challenges round the corner. I made a vow some time ago that I would join the volunteers at the annual ground cleaning weekend, and Ill stick to my word, partly because I admitted this to a regular volunteer last week and now I don’t want to be seen going back on my word! But it’s going to be a long summer.

 One last time, to all the players, staff, volunteers and fans who made this season so special – Thank You. Like a river flows surely to the sea, darling so it goes, some things are meant to be.

Goodbye for another year...

Goodbye for another year...

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AFC Wimbledon v St Albans City – A Match Preview

OVERVIEW

The championship awaits...

The championship awaits...

With the title race all but over, the lack of yellow highlighting and ‘C’ where the ‘1’ should be on the Sky Sports News league table is the only giveaway that Wimbledon haven’t already secured promotion. A shock win for the Saints, coupled with an unlikely win by Hamton at a Maidenhead side eager to finish one of their best ever seasons on a high (although they cannot qualify for the playoffs due to ground issues). I shall be making no appeal for the fans to turn out in force on this occasion – the game sold out on Monday meaning 4600 Dons fans (plus 100 or so from St Albans) will get the chance to watch Jason Goodliffe step up to receive the Blue Square South Championship Trophy (which very much resembles a certain trophy a Wimbledon team picked up 21 years ago…).

HOME

With all news reports focusing on the ‘championship’ success at Hampton last week, nothing much has leaked from the home camp in terms of squad selection. I would imagine anyone who can walk will declare themselves fit for Saturdays game, although its fair to say Alan Inns suspension will continue to restrict his participation to cheerleader, joined by long term injury victims Andy Little and Luke Garrard. Rob Saunders returns to Farnborough as they seem set for the playoffs.

I’m sure we will be seeing a couple of our players for the last time on Saturday, and Ill speculate more on those in the coming weeks. Ultimately its down to Terry, and Im sure whatever his decision it will be a hard one (with the possible exception of Belal Aitouakrim…). As Paul Parker said early in the week, AFC Wimbledon will need to strengthen to meet our ambitions next year. ‘Promoted team needs to strengthen to compete at higher level’ shows what insight Parker has as a commentator, whatever next? ‘Strikers should try and shoot wherever possible’? ‘Floodlights should be turned on for night games’?. He really earns his money that Parker does…

AWAY

st20albans20city20fcWell, we’ve all heard the rumours. Saints have let a couple of players go and will be turning up at Kingsmeadow without a full bench. They also let legendary striker Lee Clarke leave the club recently, so surely they are there for the taking? Yeah, right! I cannot believe a club like St Albans will bring a team to Kingsmeadow that will roll over and die. They let Clarke go because of a knee injury that he just couldn’t seem to shake off, and even if we don’t see an identical team to that which faced us just a few short weeks ago, I doubt we will see a lack of professionalism from this side.

Standout player Paul Hakim has netted seventeen times in the league this term, and goalkeeper Paul Bastock seems to have been around forever at various clubs, yet is approaching 200 for the Saints alone in the twilight of his playing career. Dons fans will remember Jonathan Hunt as unfortunate not to get more first team opportunities in Wimbledon FC’s post relegation team of 2000, yet mainly for his goal against Middlesborough in the FA Cup that year.

This season their problem has been inconsistency. Back in August they destroyed Eastleigh 5-0 (although Eastleigh were rubbish at the time), and more recently won a point at Chelmsford as well as holding us to a point last month. All in there are enough positives to be taken from this season to encorage them for next term, and a victory against the champions will help, but can they really compete with Woking, Dover and their like?

THE FANS

Us – Its a sellout. We’re all pretty excited. There’s champions t-shirts and scarves ready to be sold. Theres a new edition of WUP on sale (at least I presume it will be on sale, unless they set an ultra early deadline for the first pre-season game). Unlike previous sellouts there will hopefully be a relaxed laid back atmosphere, kind of like Raynes Park Vale on the last day of the first CCL season, but probably without the 5-1 scoreline unfortunately.

The Dons fans have a lot to look forward to in the summer. The drip feed of announcements as to pre-season games and summer signings, the fixtures (which I believe are usually released only a week after the Premier/Football League ones – remember when we waited until late July to find out where we were going on the first day?). But before all that, theres a title to celebrate…

Them – Spent time in the Conference very recently, so Saints fans wouldn’t really be football supporters if they didn’t harbour even the slightest jealousy at having to come to Kingsmeadow on the day promotion is assured. On the whole they’ve had the sort of season we should expect next season, never looked like going down, but weren’t troubling the playoff scene either. In other words, mid-table mediocrity.

On the whole there seems to be far worse fans in the world than Saints fans, a couple have been grumbling on guestbooks about our success, and we have to remember the moaning that followed the attendance figure given after our previous meeting at KM, but on the whole they don’t seem a bad bunch. They’ve sold 100 terrace tickets and a handful of seats, so won’t be short of support and may make themselves heard when our lot settle down, sit back and enjoy the occasion.

PREVIOUS

17/12/05     Home     FA Trophy 1st Round        2-3

10/3/09       Away      Blue Square South               0-0

THE ANONYMOUS OPINION

Theres only two possible results tomorrow as far as I can see – A Dons win (and a big one) as the lads turn on the style as only champions can, or a dreary affair settled by a couple of overcelebrated St Albans goals as the boys look forward to beer, champagne and a post match lap of honour. Also I’m willing to bet at least one lucky lady will be going home with a Blue Square South Champions winners medal when a pissed up player accidentally drops one in when the mug gets passed round at The Peel that evening.

MEDIA LINKS

The Herts Advertiser – http://www.hertsad.co.uk/content/herts/stalbanscity/story.aspx?brand=HADOnline&category=SportStAlbansCity&tBrand=HertsCambsOnline&tCategory=SportStAlbansCity&itemid=WEED23%20Apr%202009%2016%3A17%3A33%3A987

Telegraph – http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/mattleach/blog/2009/04/24/crazy_gang_spirit_guides_afc_wimbledon_to_the_promised_land

and

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/5209102/AFC-Wimbledon-ready-to-secure-fourth-promotion-in-seven-years.html

Milton Keynes Citizen – http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/sport/The-Sports-Blog.5203889.jp

South London Press (various articles) – http://www.southlondonpress.co.uk/tn/searchresult.cfm?cat=Sport&sportdetail=Wimbledon

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The Final Seven (The Run-In Previewed…)

Last summer, following the euphoria surrounding our dramatic playoff victory at Staines, opinion seemed to be pretty universal on how competitive we were expected to be this term. The word ‘consolidation’ was being bandied around more often than a lunchtime advert on Living TV. And consolidate we did, ensuring our league survival by Christmas. By then we had allowed our heads to be turned by a much bigger prize.

Promotion to the Conference National is so close I now can’t see us not playing there next season. Failure now could be our most painful experience as football fans. While the odds seem overwhelming, I always seem drawn to Hugh Everitt IIIsMany-worlds theory, which as a master wordsmith I could obviously explain to you simply myself, yet why should I bother when someone has already written on on Wikipedia for the layman. And as I am wearing the Wikipedia t-shirt I got for Xmas, I may as well just cut and paste that for you. It is defined as “there is a very large, perhaps infinite, number of universes and that everything that could possibly happen, or could possibly have happened, in our universe (but doesn’t) does happen in some other universe(s).”

Considering this, you can perhaps see why my bedroom ceiling has been examined at great detail as I lie awake at night pondering the implications. From the position we are in now, we should win the league in the majority of outcomes (assuming that Welling winning 13-4 or something ridiculous on Saturday is an outcome that could not possibly happen). I’ve always thought there was something a little funny about the world we exist in. For all we know we could be about to witness something unlikely. Something weird, like Chelmsford managing to clinch the title after appearing to throw it all away in February. If the unlikely happens, we will be picking up the pieces well into next season. Perhaps. Maybe I should stop being such a doom monger and just preview the games?

WELLING (HOME) 21st MARCH

The slayers of Trumpton head to The Meadow on Saturday looking for another scalp to reinvigorate their playoff hopes. I’ll be giving a comprehensive preview on Friday (just like last weeks comprehensive ‘effort’, haha!), but for now I predict a similar game to Hayes or Worcester. Tight, and 2-0

EASTLEIGH (AWAY) 28th MARCH

They’ve come a long way since their early season blips in August, getting tonked in consecutive away games at Bromley (1-5!) and St Albans (0-5!!!), and had really turned things around by the time they became the first and to date only team to win at TCRRFS in the league this season. Despite their easy looking run in they will probably fall well short of the title. May clinch second with a good run, but at the moment can relax slightly as they are pretty much nailed on to feature in the playoffs. A draw will be a fantastic result for both teams, so Ill go for 1-1, but expect Our Dons to be hanging on come the final whistle as Eastleigh press in an effort for the extra points from a win that will make them the only team to do the double over us this season.

TEAM BATH (HOME) 4th APRIL

Team Tax have been inconsistent recently, and appalling in their last few fixtures including crashing 0-3 at revival team Bognor. With results like that they could be effectively be playing out the season as their hopes at the moment are as small as their fanbase (whatever happened to the five thousand screaming knob-heads that turned up to that FA Cup game a few years ago? They should give every student a free season ticket, as not only would they get some kind of atmosphere but if they work out their attendance like we do they could get some cracking ‘crowds’ down there). TTwere something of an unknown quantity this season, and after shocking everyone withtheir start, slipped down the table as winter kicked in. While possessing some obviously talented players, you have to question whether Tax will ever have the strengthin depth to challenge for promotion from this league, and perhaps they have found their level. Yet one thing we have found out during our six year AFC adventure is there is nothing a player that normally plays in front of 200 likes better than having a good game against a club that pulls in 3000 every week. For that reason we must fear Tax turn up on a bad day for us and turn us over, as they have the potential to do so. However I have been impressed by the professionalism and battling qualities of our Dons this year, even during our recent poor form. This is the earliest we can win the league, and as I’ll be across the pond that day I suggest the likelihood of us winning it after this one as quite high, unless a few other Dons have booked holidays across the playoffs, in which case we won’t win it at all. My prediction… 1-0.

BASINGSTOKE TOWN (HOME) 10th APRIL

How long ago does it seem since our August trip down the mainline to the Town of Many Malls? Our fourth game and our fourth win was easier than the 1-0 scoreline suggested, it wasn’t hard then to see ‘Stokes season was going to be a struggle. Relegation seems to have been staved off by a run of decent results, leaving them clear and the survival hopes of the bottom three seem to have less life in them than Natasha Richardson at the moment. Either way a home game against a team at the bottom should never be a problem for a team gunning for the title, and I’m going for a 3-0 Dons win.

BROMLEY (AWAY) 13th APRIL

Ah! Our old friends Bromley! You remember them, from Ryman One, and that playoff semi-final two years ago? Whatever happened to them? They rolled up at TCRRFS on Bank Holiday Monday back in August as genuine rivals, boasting the likes of Nic McDonnell and Danny ‘You can’t afford me!’ Hockton. The large posteriored hit man Hocktonfound himself back at The Meadow on the end of a thumping with Braintree, with Hocktonmore interested on telling the John SmithStand what he’s been spending his extra £50 a week on. And with McDonnell taking a break from football its been down to ex-Sutton striker Warren McBean to bang the goals in, currently well behind in second place in the scoring charts to our own Jon Main. Inconsistency has been Bromleys problem this year, just not showing enough form for a play-off push, however they are going to pull out all the stops for the visit of their larger and more illustrious near neighbours (that’s us by the way). As its such an awkward place to go I’m sure of a high scoring draw, 2-2.

TRUMPTON NOT RICHMOND (AWAY) 18th APRIL

It could be all over by now, but if there’s anything left to play for Trumpton are going to give it their agricultural best when the Big Boys make the long three mile journey from the Metropolis to the village, almost doubling the population in the space of a few hours. Trumptons super-skinny squad should be absolutely knackered by this time, and I think it won’t be the close encounter many are suggesting. If the titles still on for them and they decide to play a more open game Trumptoncould seriously get stuffed if Wimbledon are in the mood. I’m going for 3-0 and the title if the villagers are still in contention, with a 1-0 Dons win should we have won it already.

ST ALBANS CITY (HOME) 25th APRIL

Its very likely that we will know our destiny by now, and our final game of the season could be a farewell to the Blue Square South, hopefully forever. If we need any kind of result the complexion changes and it becomes brown trousers time. Imagine if we need a draw to be certain and it was still 0-0 with ten minutes to go? It’ll be the longest ten minutes of our lives. Comfortable in mid table, the Stalebunscan play withno pressure, and could cause problems up against a nervy defence. If the league has been won by now it’ll be even worse, an end of season game played at zero pace, with the crowd tiring towards the end spending their time waiting for the trophy to be presented and the players running around in Blue Square We Are Going Up t-shirts. I won’t make any predictions on this one except whatever happens, we can guarantee the crowd is going to be over 4000. Then have to worry about crowds like that being the norm rather than exceptions for our first season back in a national league.

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Missing The Game 1 (St Albans City 0 AFC Wimbledon 0)

So the first ever match report I have ever written turns out to be a game I didn’t have the pleasure of attending, so keen am I to add my two penneth to all those other misguided souls who believe their opinion actualy matters. Fortunately it features a match which I’mguessing won’t be using up too much bandwidth when the highlights are uploaded to Youtube. Perhaps this match report will be a better read than recent efforts from so-called professionals such as the Blue Square South official site (obviously phoned in) or the Non League Paper (depending on who writes the report – one recent effort described the goal against Thurrock as ‘taking a deflection off Sam Hattons hand’ which managed to make it sound more ridiculous than the actual real life goal, which everyone who saw in the flesh will agree would have taken some doing). After listening to the game on Radio WDON I could have got away with just fabricating my attendance, but I would have been expected to wax lyrical about St Albans ground in the absence of any real action which I’m genuinely upset about not being able to visit.

Eventually it was man flu that prevented my attendance. It was a game I was destined not to go to as I would have missed the original game to attend a family get together with some seriously minted relatives – as my poor departed Nan used to say, “Dont let ’em give it all te t’church!”. So I had the rare pleasure of taking in the game via the soothing tones of Radio WDONs Mikey T. Not the whole game unfortunately as my computer was having connection issues during the first half. I’d love to say I spent the time watching the Champions League ties featuring the Pride Of Britain but the wife wanted to watch Friends, and its fair to say I didn’t exactly put up a fight over that one. I say let’s just give the trophy to Man U right now so we can enjoy endless back to back Ford and Mastercard adverts every Tuesday for the next two months.

But enough of the cynicism. More about the Dons. I didn’t need to be at the game to realise this was Weston Super Mare all over again, minus the debatable penalty decisions. The Wimbledon we have seen in large portions at Havant, Weston and now St Albans reminds me of the guy in the Talk To Frank advert enjoying a spliff with Giggles and Munchies only for Paranoia and Fear to gatecrash his personal party. Except there’s nothing funny about it and the only comfort eating is the 3am fridge raiding after that dream you keep having, the one where Hampton are catching us and all we have to do is fall over the line, but they’re catching us fast and we’re so close, but then they’re right beside us and the line is sooooo close, and then we wake up sweating and needing to find a plausible reason our various other halves might buy as to why there’s a huge wet patch on the mattress. Just me? Oh. I suppose that makes me a bigger man for admitting it…

The connection came back just in time to listen to some drab Killers effort (i dont have anything against The Killers per se, in fact the track itself ‘Andy, Your A Star’ is pretty good… for The Killers) which was thankfully was cut off halfway through by the start of the second half. Or so I thought. Knowing the score was 0-0 I was looking forward to a second half Dons onslaught culminating in a 65th minute Elliott Godfrey strike before Danny Kedwell settled the nerves in injury time. What I got was a very resigned sounding Mikey T describing the ball being kicked out of the ground, chatting to passers by, and his complete shock at a Kedwell effort that almost, almost managed to be on target. Before the whistle blew, the guy in the ‘studio’ tried to sign off on a positive note and failed, and the Killers kicked in. Just at the same time my Night Nurse did.

And yet I feel I missed out. I know if I had gone I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself. The chances of anyone I know going to a midweek game, let alone one outside the travelcard zones, were pretty low and thats before I factored in I don’t actually know that many people who would describe themselves as Hardcore Wimbledon Fans. In fact I’m the only one. Which makes me pretty unique in my social circle. Its what makes me the Anonymous Don. So I would have boarded the train from work in Esher, and had to endure a tightly packed cross city train. With my sinuses exploding and my throat drier than a Year 7 disco, I would undoubtedly have infected several hundred commuters with a Proper Cold Virus, perhaps single handedly wiping millions off the economy due to the forthcoming sick days they would take. Oh well. Fuck ’em I say. You take a train, you take your chances. At least I would have got to see Clarence Park, which I’m realiably informed is a Real Non-League Ground. The first half would have picked me up. I can get excited by even the dullest first half, perhaps I would have sent some text messages to the wife or random friends, which would have been more for my own benefit in writing this match report more than any genuine desire of the receiver to see The Dons take the points. Half time would have been spent reading the programme and catching up on other half time scores, all of which had no relevance to us (except that Bognor-Bath result was a bit fucked; perhaps Bath arent as good as they looked a few weeks ago…)

Then as the second half took hold, boredom would have struck me. I would have had to find a wall or barrier of some kind as sickness took hold. If I made it to the end of the game without bailing early I would certainly have held it against the team. Simple facts such as our 6 point buffer zone would have meant nothing to me on the journey home. I’ll try to blame it  the uneven karma in this particular Universe which leads absolute wankers to become multi-millionaires whereas good innocent people have to make do with unending suffering, such as supporting the Dons. I jest of course. But I would have fallen asleep on the train home waking up suddenly just as the train pulled into the station, my bleary eyes registering the station sign and the slow dawning realisation that I should have got off at Kingston when I was in fact at Sunbury.

I think its fair to say work would have been a bitch on Wednesday after all that. Instead, although extremely disappointed, I could take comfort in knowing I was comfortable on my sofa at home, supping natures best remedy to any illness or disappointing result against lower ranked opposition, which is anything containing alcohol. Which includes mouthwash and aftershave, although I was actually drinking white wine. And to look on the bright side I might get another chance to visit Clarence Park for a league game next year if our form (and Trumptons) carries on as it is.

No match report would be complete without an Anonymous Verdict. And todays is this; Come on Terry. Come on you boys in blue and yellow. Come on fellow Dons fans. Let’s get our heads up. We’ve been fucked over too many times by the village boys down the road, let’s not let them get one final tortuous final blow in before they inevitably one day disappear into oblivion. You did it in that glorious first few weeks of the season. You havent been beaten in 17 games, and you blew away Chelmsfords title challenge while doing so. Lets make sure the next time we piss the bed it’s down to the champagne and endless shots come 23rd April in celebration of the title.

Just me again?

Oh.

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