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The History Boys

The History Boys
 

Brave Wimbledon came twice from behind to book their place in the 3rd round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with an historic 3-2 win tonight away at MK Dons.

It meant so much for the fans in blue who celebrated with the manager and players when the final whistle blew.

Following Wimbledon FC’s demise and controversial relocation to Milton Keynes, this was a historic victory for AFC Wimbledon, their first over MK Dons.

“Our plan was to bring the three big guns in the second half and I am very pleased they made that difference”, said the delighted Wimbledon manager, Neal Ardley (pictured) after the match.

Ardley added: “It’s a shame we only had 200 fans because a lot more came in other games, but I am proud, I am a Wimbledon man through and through and I know what they’ve been through. I am delighted I gave them this first win.”

MK Dons who are in excellent form in League 1 missed key players such as Ben Reeves, Will Grigg and Dele Alli who were called on international duty.

AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon

That did not make an impression on Daniel Powell who netted the Dons’ opener on two minutes powering past James Shea following a failed back pass that forced the Wimbledon keeper out of his goal.

Soft in midfield, the Dons gradually allowed the visitors to dominate the phase. A cross by Jack Smith found Adebayo Azeez unmarked in the six yards box. Easy equaliser on 26 minutes.

The remainder of the first half became aggressive, with two Wimbledon players yellow carded in the space of two minutes. Afobe is blocked by the keeper once, Bowditch in a second somewhat red card dive attempt by Shea, and the rebound find its way back with Afobe who fires past two defenders to the back of the net. Bowditch missed a golden chance to make it three in added time, but his shot was cleared off the line. 2-1 MK Dons, the score at the break.

The rivalry between the two clubs did not affect us enough. Some of our players thought it is just another match against a League 2 side and perhaps that it’ll be easier. The rivalry should have got us more excited about it. Karl Robinson, MK Dons Manager”

The ink remained dry in the second half until Ardley’s triple change on 65 minutes bringing in Matt Tubbs, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Sean Rigg for Moore, Azeez and Beere respectively. Carl Baker makes his MK Dons debut coming in instead of Carruthers shortly after.

The subs proved to be useful straight away. A long kick by Shea finds Francomb’s header slicing up the Don’s defence and Sean Rigg fires from the box toward the near post taking advantage from a late response by Martin. 2-2 out of the blue.

It was then when the visitor took charge of the match. Akinfenwa missed a big chance from a free header following a cross by Nicholson before Rigg tested Martin who denied him from his second of the night.

As the game heated up in the final 20 minutes chances continue pouring in from both sides. Afobe’s header forced Shea for aheroic save on 77 minutes with the tips of his fingers. On the other side Akinfenwa sends the ball past the post from close range following a well measured cross by Francomb.

The high intensity continued. Rigg does as he wishes on the side of the box, gets clear of his marker and sends a cross to the middle to Akinfenwa who taps from close range to gift AFC Wimbledon their winning goal, 3-2 at the end at stadium mk.

As the players in blue celebrated with their 200 fans, Karl Robinson, the MK Dons manager looked disappointed and said after the match: “Too many did not perform today and I expect more from those who got the chance. The rivalry between the two clubs did not affect us enough. Some of our players thought it is just another match against a League 2 side and perhaps that it’ll be easier. The rivalry should have got us more excited about it.”

Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 4407

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