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If the fans are divided…

On a day when off the field events were considerably more important than the match itself, it’s not hard to know where to start this report.  Fans United – what a success!  It was obvious during the week that Fans United was going to be huge, but to see fans from so many different clubs was simply astonishing.  After today, the magic bus trip yesterday, and the recent press releases from Roger Casale and Merton Council, it seems clear that the only people that don’t want us back in Merton are Messrs Koppel, Rokke and Gjelsten.

Before the match, I bumped into Mark “Bomber” Williams outside the ground, and got talking to him about Plough Lane.  “Plough Lane would be ideal” he said, “At the moment it’s so far for the fans to travel, and it would be perfect for me, because I live in Wimbledon Village.”  Nice one Bomber!

And so onto the match itself.  We won!  It was a game in which we always had the advantage in, but then we’ve all heard that before…  Damien made his first start since his injury, and was class personified.  When he wasn’t fizzing perfectly weighted balls around the midfield, he was winning every tackle going.  He did, however, appear slightly rubber-limbed – no surprise given the seriousness of the injury he suffered.  I’m not sure we’ll ever see him recover that extra yard of pace he used last season to such great effect, but on today’s performance, frankly, who cares.

We started the match brightly, with an Ardley header hitting the post after only a couple of minutes.  We continued to press, and although we had a Connolly effort (rightly) ruled out for offside, we couldn’t make the breakthrough.  Half time came and went.  Forest still looked reasonably solid in defence, yet Jenas apart, strangely clueless going forward.  Ten minutes in, another corner was won, and Micheal Hughes scampered across to take it.  His lofted cross was flicked on, and eventually met by the shaven head of Chris Wilmott, scoring his first ever senior goal.  Cue pandemonium.  We had chances later in the game to finish Forest off, but Wimbledon being Wimbledon, we opted for the nervy 1-0 win.

Plus Points: The defence.  Darlington and Holloway in particular excelled.  Indeed Holloway could have scored with a lovely curling effort near the end.  Chrissy “That’s a girl’s name innit?” Willmott looked solid, and Sir Kenneth of Cunningham dispatched the Forest invaders with imperious ease.  Oh, and Shipperley.  He was MOTM, don’t you know.

Minus Points: Koppel.  In a HT interview on ITV he said that thoughts of a return to Plough Lane were nothing more than a “pipe-dream”.  Twat.

Quotes: “Blimey, you really do have a small team”.  My mate, who in all seriousness thought our mascot was a player.  “Are you Koppel in disguise?”  WFC fans to the linesman who disallowed Conno’s header.  “Hey, heeeeey Koppel, we wanna know, why you’re such a c***”  Womble fans doing our very own DJ Otzi impression.

Strange but true: I met a Southampton fan, who professed to support Wimbledon equally.  How weird must THAT game in May 2000 have been for him?

Was it worth it? Is Koppel a gimp?