Match Preview: AFC Wimbledon (A) – FA Cup First Round Replay – Tuesday 15th November 2022 – 19:45
A huge game awaits for the Terras tomorrow evening, as we travel to face the Dons in the First Round Replay!
Manager Bobby Wilkinson spoke to us ahead of tomorrow’s game:
On preparations: “Preparation and recovery from Saturday has gone well. We’re ready for the challenge, lets compete, show lots of bravery and let’s see what happens, can we cause a humongous upset? We are massive underdogs but we’ll enjoy that feeling given the opportunity that lies ahead.”
On the prospect of earning more money for the club through this competition: “I take huge pride in the staff and players around me. It’s so great to be able to continue to give back to the club, that’s all we ever want to do. It’s great that through this FA Cup journey, we’ve been able to put smiles on faces and we’ve helped out the club in the process. I have to say that I’ll take greater pride on reaching the second round! Can we now go there and cause a special upset?”
On what we’ve learnt from Wimbledon from the first game: “We’ve learnt a few weaknesses from their first game, but this game will be so much more difficult. They have the fans, we have to travel and all the extra prep that goes into it. So they’ve got the advantage, but that’s the challenge, time to step up and be counted. We’ve worked hard behind the scenes, detail is everything in football, you can never do too much prep.”
On team news: “Brendan Willson is still unavailable. Apart from him, we’ve managed the squad well from Saturday, everyone is ready to go and no problems ahead of tomorrow.”
On excitement as a manager leading the club into this game: “I’m so proud to be the manager, this replay is so exciting, against AFC Wimbledon, a fantastic football club. The pride for me is the fans, the amount that are travelling tomorrow, but since we’ve come in, during the sticky periods, they stick by us all the time. I can sense something special happening around the club. The belief is high in the project in which we are trying to bring the club back to where it should be.”
@TerraStatman’s Facts of the Match
Our only meeting to date against this Plough Lane-based outfit was of course a week or so ago, but we did face the former Wimbledon team over 12 consecutive seasons in the Southern League from 1965 until our final meeting in 1977. The league meetings ended that season, as Wimbledon were promoted to the Football League.
Over those dozen campaigns we faced The Dons 25 times, 24 in the league and one Southern League cup tie with a W8 D5 L12 tally meaning the former side was a bit of a bogeyteam for us, especially in the last three seasons we played them from 1974 when we lost six on the spin and only scored one goal across all half dozen games!
We were at least more fortunate in our earlier ties, including our very first encounter that was probably a celebratory affair for us as it was the opening league game of the season, after winning the Southern League for the very first time in our history the previous spring. On that occasion, a solitary Geoff Tizzard goal was enough to take all the points, but little did we know then that would be the start of another epic season as we would go on to win the league again and retain the championship!
In terms of players that have featured for both Weymouth and the former Wimbledon team – there are only a handful of Weymouth players that also turned out for both, including Dean Holdsworth and Lewis Cook – both not for long!
So will we be lucky and make it to the 2nd round proper of the competition for just the 13th time in our history and the first time since 2007/08? If we do we would have to buck a trend of bowing out of the competition at this stage on the last nine occasions we forced a 1st round replay, although it took Hitchin three replays in 1976 and Peterborough two replays in 1974 to finally defeat us and records are set to be broken!