MATCH REPORT: AFC Wimbledon - Scunthorpe United (Sky Bet League Two)
Wibbly Lane, Matchday 2
Referee: Chris Mumple
AFC Wimbledon Starting XI: Worner; Fuller, Bennet, Frampton, Kennedy; Porter, Francomb, S. Moore, L. Moore; Green (Bald), Green (Other) [c]
AFC Wimbledon Substitutes: Brown, Sainte-Luce, Weston, Midson, Sweeney, Bamba, Sheringham
Scunthorpe United Starting XI: Slocombe; Ribeiro, Howe, Canavan, Grayson; Clark (Hawkridge 80’), McAllister (Collins 55’), Sparrow [c], Welsh; Akpa Akpro, Iwelumo
Scunthorpe United Substitutes: Nolan, Mirfin, Hawkridge, Collins, Winnall, Severn, Spencer
The season of fundamental changes at AFC Wimbledon continued as the Wombles (or the Wimbly Womblys, as a new Ultras group started calling them) played their first home league match in the newly-christened Wibbly Lane. It’s big! It’s clean! It’s wonderful! It’s… empty. Typical Kingsmeadow attendance figures in a stadium four times as large. Surely the attendance figures will tick up as the club’s fortunes climb. Right?
First things first- Scunthorpe. Establish a good home form is crucial to any successful season, and you never want to have to play catch-up in this league. For being at such an early point in the season, this sure felt like a Must Win.
The home side pressed early in the first half, with the Johns Green drifting out wide to overload the flanks. With Scunthorpe’s fullbacks in a panic the Blue and Yellow set up a cozy little breakfast nook in the box- consistently threatening, keeping the back line confused and off balance, pulling Slocombe out of position on several plays. A powerful shot from distance courtesy of Sammy Moore was parried away by sheer luck more than anything else, as was the resulting header from a corner kick that was just cleared off the line. Somehow, by luck or providence, Scunthorpe went into half time with an empty scoreline. They must have felt confident coming out for the second thought. Maybe, just maybe, we can hold the Womblys off and get out of there with a point.
They were wrong, of course. Five minutes into the second half, Other John Green collected a through ball in open space from his husband and,after fending off some bruising body checks from Howe that really should have earned a penalty, fired a low shot into the bottom left corner. He almost tallied a second less than ten minutes later but for more late heroics from Slocombe. Wimbledon continued to control possession and press forward through the half while Scunthorpe never really composed themselves. The scoreline held, but it could have been much, much more.
Some Wimbledon fans were looking for more of a statement win for their first home game, like they had away at Oxford last week. This wasn’t it. But last season, Wimbledon would have drawn or lost this game. League competition is a marathon, not a sprint, and glory and honours go to the teams that can grind out wins like this one. Nothing we saw tonight will make any year-end highlight reels, but this was a solid win in a game where Wimbledon took control early on and never let go. And that, in itself, is a statement.
AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Scunthorpe United
Scoreline: Other Green (WIM) 50’
Swindon Town - Fulham (League Cup)
After a long break the boys return to play the home leg of the league cup semi final after a 0-0 draw in the first leg. Manager John Green talks about Other John Green, his 50 day injury and fills us in on some of the background of the teams married strikers.
How the John Greens fell in love… and how they’re suffering through injury together. (Plus hot hot FIFA action!)
The Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers face Chelsea Football Club in a thrilling F.A. Cup final tie.
Seriously the most nervous and excited sporting experience of my life.