AFC Wimbledon

13 Feb

12 February 2011

National Conference Division

AFC Wimbledon 1 v York City 0 (att 3532)

Kingsmeadow, Kingston KT1

Team talk. The recent history of the now defunct Wimbledon FC is well documented,  including how AFC Wimbledon was formed by fans wanting to keep their club local. From the dizzy heights of being top division stalwarts and winning THAT 1988 FA Cup final to… well, Milton Keynes. What is less well documented is the meteoric rise of the club from the non leagues to the top of the English footballing pyramid between 1977 and 1986.Today, as AFC Wimbledon take to the pitch in the distinctive blue shirts they sit on top of the English National Conference. AFC have been promoted 4 times in 7 seasons and could perhaps be on the verge of repeating the impressive achievements of their namesake.

Home advantage. AFC currently play home games at Kingsmeadow, a ground that they have shared since their formation in 2002 with Isthmian Premier Division side Kingstonian FC.

I got to the ground early which was fortunate as in the car park I stumbled upon Terry’s Badges, a stall selling badges from pretty much every non league club in the country. Terry has a website that is well worth a visit for anyone who likes shiny badges, which is surely everyone.

 

Terrys all gold

Being of Yorkshire stock, and having a particular affection for York City, I was tempted to enter the away stand with the 700 odd visiting supporters who made up a sizable chunk of the overall attendance. The away stand was the appropriately named “John Smiths Stand”, which looked like the oldest of the three covered standing terraces at Kingsmeadow. Seating is available in the main “Paul Strank” stand. I resisted this temptation and followed the home support, standing at the Kingston Road End. The low covered terraces, and the enclosure that it brings to the pitch normally provides a good atmosphere, quite intimate and therefore appropriate for a Valentine’s weekend fixture. I have to say that throughout the game many of the guys around me seemed more concerned with what the Crawley score was (Crawley are currently challenging with AFC at the top of the table) than getting behind their team. That said, a shrug of acceptance is really the only possible response to the York City chant of “Vinnie Jones is a w%£nker”.

Prawn sandwiches. Hospitality was pretty standard fare. There was a bar, but the real action was in the burger van where a foot long hot dog (with accompanying heart disease and curiosity about the meat content) could be yours for just £3.

…..and the game. The teams entered the arena to a fun megamix of the Pearl and Dean theme and Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness. The match was always destined not to live up to this entrance and the game was not a classic. The teams lined up and played in very similar ways, each relying at least initially on a long ball to the big man up front.  In AFC’s case this was fan favourite Danny Kedwell, who looked impressive. Perhaps AFC were a bit more inventive on the day, but it came down to a well struck free kick on 20mins to separate the two teams. I feel York City would have got more from the game if they had followed the away crowd’s wise advice and went “for’ed” rather than “back’ed”. Indeed, York had a few close chances towards the end which made for a more exciting conclusion to the game.

 

Man of the match. Surely nothing is more likely to unsettle a visiting team than a giant Womble. Haydon the Womble did a great job entertaining the younger (and older) fans and even tried to get the crowd going by banging out a rhythm on a wheelie bin, or perhaps he was just reinforcing the Wombles “keep Britain tidy” message. Legend.

Haydon limbers up

 

Post game rub down. Not the greatest game in the world. I did not really leave with any great sense of what AFC Wimbledon are about. At the end of the day, I got more football related entertainment from this estate agent board found outside the ground (snigger, snigger).

 

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Beckenham Town « Tales From The Pigeon Stands - 4 September 2011

    […] (less diplomatically) as “god awful”. This included back to back 6-0 losses against AFC Wimbledon and Tonbridge Angels and a horrific string of defeats against Maidstone Utd (1-5), Welling Utd […]

  2. Kingstonian « Tales From The Pigeon Stands - 2 August 2012

    […] to both of you) will know that this isn’t the first Tale from the Kingsmeadow Pigeon Stand, having opened our blog with a trip to last season’s game between AFC Wimbledon and York City. However, it’s only fair that we give Kingstonian, the rightful natives of Norbiton, a fair crack […]

  3. Imber Court (Met Police FC) | Tales From The Pigeon Stands - 6 May 2013

    […] was the very first ground we blogged, albeit a game featuring their squatters-cum-landlords, AFC Wimbledon before we returned to co-incidentally cover a Kingstonian London Senior Cup game last year. […]

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