AFC Wimbledon (H) Tue 12th Feb, 7.45pm

"Remember you’re a Womble, remember you’re a Womble,
Remember-member-member what a Womble Womble Womble you are"

(Another Mike Batt song accompanying the Womble popularity long ago)

We welcome Wally Downes’ AFC Wimbledon side for a game that we must, must, MUST win if our inexorable plummet down the League One table is to be arrested. Both clubs have struggled since those heady days back in August when we won the corresponding away fixture 1-3, with goals from Kieron Morris, Nightingale (o.g.) and some guy called Steve Cook (according to the Press Association report). Downes was only appointed in December, and his win ratio of 50% in League One games has been augmented by reaching the 5th round of the F.A. Cup - disposing of West Ham in the 4th round. There is a tenuous connection in the playing staff - Rod McDonald is the son of the ex-Saddler of the same name. The current form of the Wombles looks like this:-

1 Jan Portsmouth (A) Lost 2-1
12 Jan Coventry City (A) Drew 1-1
19 Jan Barnsley (H) Lost 1-4
22 Jan Fleetwood Town (H) Lost 0-3
2 Feb Sunderland (A) Lost 1-0
9 Feb Burton Albion (H) Lost 0-2

AFC Wimbledon’s position at the foot of the League One table (by 9 clear points) looks like a lost cause, but it’s interesting to note that we’ve actually conceded one more goal than they have! Scoring, or lack of it, seems to be their downfall, with only 22 netted in their 31 games - and yet they put 4 goals past West Ham…

We, of course, have problems in both scoring and conceding. Dean Keates has been ringing the changes since last month’s transfer window acquisitions, but apart from what appears to have been a freak result at Gillingham there has been no apparent improvement in the area that matters - the field of play. There are now so many permutations available to the manager that it’s a bit pointless trying to predict the results of his tactical selection for the match.

Prediction? As stated, this is a MUST WIN fixture, and it is to be hoped that whichever starting XI takes the field they will be suitably motivated to get a precious 3 points. This could well end up being a scrappy encounter, and a scrappy 1-0 home win should at least keep our manager still in charge (temporarily?). A goal from young Oteh please, assist from Devlin.



Anything other than win and I believe we reach the point of no return


We have won 2 of our last 9 home league games.

Home form since 27 October (Wycombe): W L L D W L D L L

Desperately need a win tomorrow night. I try to be optimistic but I sense another defeat, or draw at best.

Johnson, Kinsella and Fitzwater need to start.

I’m normally fairly optimistic but not at the moment. We have always seemed to be generous to teams on dreadful runs and sadly I see a 0 - 2 defeat here. Desperately hope I’m wrong.

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Must must must must must must must must must must must must must must win.

Deep breath. 0-1. Wimbledon defender scores from corner, maybe in first 10 minutes.

No idea what the first 11 will be and tbh at this moment in Essington Dean Keates probably dosen’t either.

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A must win so we will 2-0…my optimism has resurfaced however if we lose I think we will go down .


Cook and Oteh with a couple

3418 watching.

What a contrast to the opposite fixture. A win that looked like it was setting up a completely unexpected positive season. One where we looked in total control and never really troubled by a side that were clearly below us quality wise.

Now we face them after a lot of results that leave us in a completely expected battle for survival in a match we are unlikely to enjoy any sort of control and will mostly be on the same level quality wise.

Predicting a draw. Which is nowhere near good enough. With them scoring in the first 15, obviously.


Must win game, so maybe a draw after a goal in added time to rescue a point for visitors. Better luck in lottery, sorry, predicting first squad for this game.

Always felt Whitney had a knack of picking up a result when he really needed one, which helped to prolong his time in charge. Keates needs a win just as much as the team does, and this is as good an opportunity as he’s likely to get given the forthcoming fixtures.

0-1 Dons…


Lose and we’re down. It’s that simple.

No excuses now.

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The result in bald terms is irrelevant, it’s the psychological impact it will have on all of us and our opponents. If the bottom team can turn us over, as well everyone else down there, we’re in terrible trouble and it’s difficult to see where the points will come from.


Must win. I just can’t see it though.

0-2 Wimbledon.

Has anyone seen the fixtures to come … **** me.


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I fear that even a win here will prolong what appears to be the inevitable. One plus side for Jeff will be that most players have a 50% decrease in wages should we go down (unless things have changed), and no win/draw bonuses paid unless 12th or above.

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Very much win or bust.

We can’t defend, therefore do we absolutely go for it?

Not pretty is it. This really could be the season we drop.

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Understandably, there is a lot of pessimism on here at the moment and I know that if your auntie had knackers, she would be your uncle, but had we converted that penalty on Saturday, we may well have gone on to win the game. Had we done so, or even got a draw, I reckon that there would be more optimism around concerning tomorrow’s fixture.
Most of the reports from those that witnessed the game commented that we were much better second half and if that continues, then all is not lost.

Needs Keates to get his act together with team selection though.

Right, where did I leave that bottle of pills.


I keep hearing this but I don’t see what was majorly wrong with the team selection. Yes, yes Devlin on the right, it’s a well trodden argument, but other than that?

Everyones favourite son Scott Laird came in for Leahy (and did a decent job to be fair), Osbourne was dropped to the bench as was Ferrier, which most people demanded and their replacements Dobson and Oteh were certainly not responsible for the poor performance Saturday.

Maybe these players just simply aren’t good enough.


Next two aren’t too bad…high pressured of course but Coventry haven’t won any of their last 3 home games against bottom half teams and Bradford at home is yet another home fixture against a bottom 4 team.

Basically DK is done if there are no wins in the next 3 as March fixture list is a complete horror show so the club will probably have to roll the dice.

Then again this is a team that seems to have no issue going 2-0 up against Sunderland and Luton.

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