Dons v Dons

November 25, 2012

 

WEBWATCH

 

Ken Masters

1988

IT WAS THE GAME WAITING TO HAPPEN; EVER SINCE MK DONS SET UP SHOP IN MILTON KEYNES AND AFC WIMBLEDON WON PROMOTION TO THE LEAGUE, THE CLUBS ARE SET TO FACE EACH OTHER AND SO MANY WEBSITES HAVE BEEN FULL OF NEWS REGARDING THE IMPENDING FA CUP SECOND ROUND CLASH.

AOL Sport reported: ‘Next month’s clash will be the first time the teams have met since the original Wimbledon, FA Cup winners in 1988, were relocated to Milton Keynes 10 years ago. AFC Wimbledon, who formed in 2002 in the wake of that controversial move and have since been promoted five times to reach League Two, have already said they will grudgingly fulfil the fixture.

When we visited AFC just a few weeks ago I said to their Chief Exec that the game was bound to happen one day. Little did we think it would only be a matter of weeks. I got the feeling then that they were not looking forward to it. I have to say if it was me I couldn’t wait. Forget the hurt and anger, just go there with my new football club, with the name and win the game.’

Simon Wheeler, chairman of the Independent Wimbledon Supporters Association, will not be there to see it and he said: “This has reopened a lot of scars. We never wanted this to happen and frankly I feel numb. I won’t be going and I know lots of other fans won’t be going. Personally I would rather take my girlfriend’s mother to the garden centre than go to that game.” Really Simon!

“Other fans will have to take a long look at themselves and make a personal, informed decision.

“We didn’t ever want this to happen but it does highlight the phenomenal success of AFC Wimbledon from having had everything ripped out.”

It is reported, again on AOL, that hundreds of AFC Wimbledon supporters are set to boycott the game. Come on AFC fans and I will say it again: “With the name and win the Game.”

It might have been better if the game was at AFC, but that’s how I see it anyway.

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman has described the historic meeting as a “potentially fantastic tie.”

But Wheeler added: “MK Dons might say how much they are looking forward to the game but actually they are probably rather embarrassed.”</span>

Simon, I can’t imagine Pete is at all embarrassed and I’m sure he’ll greet you warmly but anyway you go on:

“The frenzy of support Pete Winkelman had envisaged has not materialised and frankly they have an identity crisis. They still call themselves Dons, not Milton Keynes.”

Take your point Simon and I do agree it is time for MK to drop the ‘Dons’ tag but it is time also to put it all this to bed. There are two Football League clubs now and yours is called Wimbledon so do I have to say it again? Simon continues: “But we have to fulfil the fixture. I believe a group of AFC Wimbledon players will play the game then get back on the bus to Wimbledon and carry on with our season. The result does not matter. We’ve already won just by being in the Football League.” Quite Simon, no one will deny that AFC Wimbledon in the Football League after such a short time is an amazing achievement and what a better way to celebrate it than going up to Milton Keynes, showing them how proud you are, doing your utmost to win the game, shaking hands and then as you say, getting on with your season. BBC East Sport had this to say on their web site: ‘MK Dons will host AFC Wimbledon on the weekend of 1st December in the standout tie of the second round. It is a game that has been 10 years in the making; ever since AFC were set up in 2002, and sees the coming together of two clubs intrinsically linked by a

common past.’

AFC were founded when disillusioned Wimbledon fans, unhappy with the decision by a Football Association appointed commission to allow their club to be uprooted, formed a club in nearby Kingston upon Thames, starting life in the ninth tier of English football.

Following five promotions in nine seasons, AFC rose to the Football League in 2011 and, despite them never having faced each other before, the animosity between the clubs continues to run deep.

The debate over which team should possess the claim to Wimbledon’s history rumbled on until 2006, when MK relinquished their connection to anything pre 2004.

So there you go, up the road to MK all you Wimbledon fans to support your team, “With the name and win the Game”.

I wish I could be there to see it. If our fixture with Wycombe had not been rearranged I would have been; now that is another story.

 

 

Share This Post On