Monday, April 09, 2007

AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon 1 Staines Town 1 - Isthmian League, Premier Division

Wimbledon is a suburb of London, part of the London Borough of Merton. For most of the past one hundred years, Wimbledon has been best known as the home of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. In addition the Wombles are fictional characters created by British author Elisabeth Beresford, originally appearing in a series of children's novels from 1968. The characters later became nationally famous in the mid 1970s as a result of a popular BBC children's television show using stop motion animation. A number of spin-off novelty songs also became major hits in the British music charts. Wombles are pointy-nosed furry creatures that live in burrows, where they help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in useful and ingenious ways. This "green" message was ahead of its time in the 1970s. Although Wombles live in every country in the world, the stories focus on the life of the Wimbledon Common burrow in London, England. Beresford reportedly invented the name "Womble" when one of her young children referred to Wimbledon Common as "Wombledon Common".

The club and its supporters regard AFC Wimbledon as the direct continuation of the former Wimbledon F.C., and consider that the new MK Dons are no longer representative of the legacy and tradition of Wimbledon FC. Regular readers of this blurb may recall the Pieman's visit to MK Dons earlier this season and the debate between MK Gould and Badger Atkins that took place.

On this warm bank holiday Monday, Hotspur and I set off via Seven Sisters and Vauxhall to Norbiton station, from where a ten minute stroll will get you to Kingsmeadow the home of AFC Wimbledon. A very good crowd were present to see if AFC could maintain their push towards confirming a place in the divisional play off for promotion to Conference South.

AFC made the best possible start by going ahead in the 3rd minute. A cross from the right was met by a flying Luke Garrard header and the stage was set for another goal feast (the previous home match had been won 9-0). However, the only other strike was for Staines Town after 69 minutes.

Wimbledon looked tired as this season reaches its climax. The 1-1 draw mirrors the result from when the two clubs met at Wheatsheafe Park on Boxing Day. Should AFC miss out on the play offs they might regard Staines Town as a thorn in their side.

Kingsmeadow is a good venue with covered terracing on three sides and a decent seated stand along the main side. I was overpowered by the smell of the chips during the second half and had to purchase a tray.

Attendance: 3002
Admission: £9
Programme: £2.50
Fare: Covered by my annual season ticket/travel card
Tea/Coffee: 70p
Chips: £1

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