Sammy Moore free kick 60'

Sammy Moore free kick 60′

AFC Wimbledon 2 Fleetwood Town 1 (0-0 HT)

When the crowd invaded the pitch after the final whistle, it was as though the Dons had won the FA Cup. 25 years after their success against Liverpool, it was very appropriate that one of the Dons’ heroes Lawrie Sanchez from that victory should be in the stand to watch AFC Wimbledon retain their league 2 status and avoid relegation back to the Conference. But it was touch-and-go. Nail-biting stuff right from the start. The Dons had a couple of early chances and were the better team in the first half, but somehow they could not find the net. When a Gary Alexander header from Sammy Moore’s free kick put them in front after 60 minutes, Kingsmeadow erupted. But the joy was short-lived, with the visitors from Fleetwood managing to equalise within three minutes through Andy Mangan.

Jack Midson Penalty 72'

Jack Midson Penalty 72′

As time ticked away, the Dons kept chasing the important score and were rewarded with a penalty in the 72nd minute when full back Curtis Osano was brought down on the box. Jack Midson stepped up to take it on his 100th appearance for the club. He made no  mistake and the home fans were left to count down the minutes and seconds, which included five minutes of added time (no idea where that came from as there did not seem to be many injuries). So it was almost 4:55pm when the referee blew the final whistle and the crowd descended upon the players. Job done and Neil Ardley was swamped by well-wishers before being taken away to do a television interview. Come on you Dons! Incidentally one of the Fleetwood substitutes who remained on the bench was full back Conor McLaughlin from Belfast, who has won one international cap for Northern Ireland.

Neil Ardley

Neil Ardley

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