Well, Wimbledon 2 Washout 0 is one game that is going to be talked about for years to come. With very few daring to predict a clean sheet, it seemed everyone was expecting an eventful match. I could go on about how Harvey and Gray are combining with nifty overlap play on the left better and better with each passing match, or the number of times Sheerin and Scott put it wide, but that isn’t what this match is going to be remembered for.
2800-odd wombles, Ash fans (mad and otherwise) and Norwich franchise-haters came to Kingsmeadow to witness why Wimbledon really should get out of this league as soon as possible.
We were treated to a cool penalty taken by Gray, awarded after he was pulled down in the box at around the half-hour mark, and then with 5 minutes of the first half to go, there was a bit of drama at the west bank followed by the ref tottering off to have a brief conference with the lino, and next thing we know, Carroll is handing his jersey (as I understand one has to call the keeper’s shirt) to Oakins, and exiting stage left. Apologies for being unable to report exactly what Carroll was guilty of, no doubt a more reputable match report will be able to fill in the details for you.
Now, most groups of supporters tend to go through the more negative range of emotions upon losing their only available keeper. Being unlike most groups of supporters however, the Dons faithful remained cheerful and upbeat, and appeared to relish the prospect of the second half instead of dreading a first league defeat. This is some indication of the level of confidence we have in our team despite a few recent shaky results, and can only be a Good Thing.
The second half lurched merrily on, with Wimbledon stamping their authority on the game and keeping it stamped. Did Ash just not notice we were down to 10 men with a diminutive outfield player in goal? If they did, they certainly showed no sign of wanting to take advantage of it. Time after time the Dons out-hassled, out-passed and generally out-moved the opposition and created several chances, most of which went begging, but it was the perennial Everard who rose in classic style to make the match safe – mind you, it was pretty safe anyway, with Oakins barely tested at the other end, though he did pull off a couple of convincing saves.
Anyway, I’m told that nobody reads the report bit in SW19 match reports, so sliding swiftly on to.
Plus points: If we can beat one of the better sides in this league (and keep a clean sheet) without a keeper I think we stand a good chance of doing pretty well wherever we find ourselves next season.
Minus points: We could have scored many more, but that’s just unfair to bring up, isn’t it?
The referee’s a … : I really don’t know. Despite a penalty and a potentially controversial sending off, he didn’t seem that remarkable.
Them: We thought you were good, we were wrong, boy were we ever wrong.
Wallingford watch: Down 1-0 at half time, came back to beat Southall 3-1. Bah.
Franchise watch: We’re going up, they’re going down. Do we really need to say more? Well, they only lost 1-0 to the top team, and had their keeper sent off too. What are the odds?
Truth is stranger than fiction: A number of Wimbledon “top boys” (ahem) with furrowed brows engaged in various board games in the bar after the match. No, really.
In a nutshell: Danny Oakins is our mate.