Category Archives: Doncaster Rovers

AFC Wimbledon HIT BY COVID

AFC Wimbledon, literally a few days after celebrating their momentous return to Plough Lane, have been hit by the COVID Bug.

Following the game against Doncaster Rovers, a number of the first team squad, returned positive tests.

As a result of this the weekends FA Cup first round tie at Barrow was postponed, to allow the affected players time to self isolate and recover.

24 Hours after this news was announced, the club then implemented a 14 day Fire Breaker, and everyone at AFC Wimbledon, is now isolating as a precaution

What this means is that the clubs next home game at Wigan, has also been postponed, till the results are known.

It isn’t known how the players contracted the virus, though in the games previously to being back at Plough Lane, the club were playing fixtures in the North, which as is known at this time, is where the majority of the worst cases are.

How Does This Affect The FA CUP for Wimbledon

Because this is a different competition to the EFL and as it was the the first round, it means that the club will treat the game as if were a replay and it will take place on a later date

So Both Barrow and AFC Wimbledon will be in the draw taking place tonight on BBC2, with them both having the Number 30 ball.

AFC Wimbledon’s next scheduled league game, ironically, is back in the north against Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena. At this time the game is planned to go ahead

the DONS ARE Back!

It has been 29 veerrryyy long years, since the Then Wimbledon Football club, left Plough Lane, in what was a Temporary move to Selhurst Park

But on Tuesday evening, the re incarnation AFC Wimbledon took to the field for a League One Match against Doncaster Rovers.

It was against a back drop of an emotion charged evening for those who made it responsible, that AFC Wimbledon took to the field.

Lining up in their favoured 3 5 2 formation, AFC Wimbledon, looked nervous as Doncaster took a grip on the game and started to impose themselves, looking at first every inch the promotion favourites that they are.

However, once nerves had settled, the Dons then started to impose themselves, albeit not in the style of their previous team, but non the less they got a grip on the game and deservedly went ahead through

Joe Piggott

But as is the way with this current Wimbledon Team, they seem to revert to charity cases, because within five minutes of taking the lead and as has happened so often this season, they let Doncaster back into the game with an equaliser that really should have been dealt with better.

The position that the equaliser came from, has become an achilles heel for Wimbledon this season and is clearly something that needs to be resolved, by the manager Glyn Hodges, himself an original member of the previous Crazy Gang, back in the 80s

Half time arrived and the Dons were lucky to be in the game still at 1-1

Second Half

The second half started for Wimbledon, very much as the first had ended, with Doncaster taking the game to the hosts, something which would never have happened back in the day at the old Plough Lane, or if it did, then it would have been after a hard won battle in the midfield.

Doncaster were gaining more and more of a stranglehold on the game, as Wimbledon sat off them and made little or no attempt to chase the ball or close down.

At this time it was a case of when Doncaster scored not if

However, as the iFollow commentator noted, Wimbledon were like a boxer on the ropes and needed a stop in play to regroup.

Luckily for them, this happened when Glyn Hodges made a double Substitution, taking off Ryan Longman and Paul Kalambyi, replacing them with Jack Rudoni and Ollie Palmer.

This reshuffled the pack for the Dons and helped them get a foothold back in the match, with what seemed a more balance team

Eventually, they started hitting the Doncater goal making the goalkeeper work and after 83 minutes, following good work on the left hand side, a cross came over and found Joe Pigott, who, with some aplomb, smashed a brilliant shot into the back of the net

AFC Wimbledon 2 Doncaster Rovers 1

Would the Dons be able to hold on to this lead.

Doncaster again started to take a grip and as the match moved into the closing stages of time added on, it looked as though the points and a momentous emotion charged evening would end on a high, but with the last and very desperate kick of the match, James Coppinger swung at the ball in the Dons penalty area

The shot went towards the ground, but as it did so, deflected off a dons Boot and looped agonisingly over the Goalkeeper Connal Trueman into the back of the net.

AFC WIMBLEDON 2 DONCASTER 2

Not long after the final whistle rang and a point was shared.

On reflection the first game back at our home stadium, was always going to be emotional, add into the bargain the circumstances caused by Covid 19, so no fans in the ground and with a bit more fight from the Dons, the result could have been so different.

Either way

The Dons are Back

https://247-football.com/2020/06/24/interview-with-former-wimbledon-brentford-and-watford-player-marcus-gayle/

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

A Very Hospitable Experience

Being a football mad fan for some 48 years and always been a terrace standing guy, its the atmosphere and being in the ‘thick of it’ so to speak, I had the priviledge of experiencing my first ever hospitality event on Saturday 10th March

The occassion was AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers

To most football fans, and especially lovers of the Premiership, to which I admit I am one, even though I feel it has slightly disconnected with its fan base, on paper this was hardly going to be setting the world on fire… But for me it did

The day itself was a very cold windy day, for a match held at AFC Wimbledons current home, The Cherry Red Records Stadium, Jack Goodchild Way, Kingston, the former home of non league Kingstonian

The hospitality package, myself and my wife had, was due to start at 12 noon and so we arrived early enough, parking in the club park. which though small had ample parking

We made out way to the hospitality lounge, which once inside was warm and cosy and were greeted by the commercial manager Pietro Palladino, who immeidately made us feel welcome and at home, and showed us to our table, where once we were seated, then met our waiter and waitress, Liam & Donna who said they were going to be looking after us, for the duration of our stay

Our table was laid out with the matchday programme, and a very large wall mounted TV was showing the Crystal Palace v Brighton match. My initial thoughts at this time were how much different it was to being ‘an ordinary supporter’ no standing in the cold waiting for the bar to open

The lounge was very spacious and every so often the main lounge door would open and in walked a celebrity or two, all of who were approachable and happy to sign autographs

The food was delicious, with a main course of Chicken, with greens and small potatoes, together with Alcohol served at your table, which already had wine if that was your preference

The hospitality manager, spent some time with each table and was more than happy to explain the format to us, indeed his entire staff were very happy to make sure what ever we wanted was supplied

One of the highlights of the day was the Pre Match briefing given to us by AFC Wimbledons team manager, who was slightly taller than I imagined, and a character full of wit

Autographs duly obtained, we then made our way to our seats, which were located in the Paul Strank stand and got ourselves comfortable in time for the match

As befits a League One club of the stature of Wimbledon, the seating was fairly basic, but also comfortable and roomy and we found ourselves sitting behind the actor Sam West ( his parents are Prunella Scales and Tim West) who is a fine chap.

Our view of the match was good, with no obstructions of any kind and everyone was well behaved.

My overridng summary of the day was that I would do hospitality again for sure, because it takes your matchday experience up a notch from that of the ‘ordinary’ supporter.

Checkatrade Trophy: Is The Format Working?

Last season the EFL brought in a new format for the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and really it hasn’t helped teams in lower leagues. The new format encourages teams in the Premier League and the Championship to submit an Under 21’s squad into the competition. So is this format still a good idea?

The final of last season’s Checkatrade trophy was between Coventry and Oxford and broke the attendance record for the competition with 74,434, but all of last season the attendance figures at games across the competition was still low, Peterborough United as an example had an attendance of 1696 at their game against Norwich Academy which is a 4,000 less then their average attendance last season.

Last season as well clubs got fined for not fielding full strength squads,  on the 16th November Luton Town and Portsmouth were fined £15,000 for breaching this rule for all three of their group games, whereas Bradford, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, Millwall, Charlton, Peterborough, Sheffield United and Southend all got fined £3,000 and Fleetwood were fined £5,000. That doesn’t sound like a lot to big clubs but in lower levels it is a lot to those clubs.

The group format is a nice new addition to the competition but for me I think if you took out participation from the Under 21’s it would be a good competition for lower league clubs and will hopefully increase ticket sales for the clubs as that can help boost finances. They also need to remove the full strength squad rule as fining teams for putting different squads out isn’t fair on teams that need to make sure people in their team stay fit and get a chance to show what they’re worth.

*Feature image courtesy of EFL.com*