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Reds up for the cup

Saturday sees FC United make a welcome return to The Fans’ Stadium at Kingsmeadow to play Blue Square Premier side AFC Wimbledon with the Co-operative Supporters Direct Cup at stake. Craig Phillips provides this preview...

After two pre-season games on two different continents in four days, it will be the first time that manager Karl Marginson will have the full squad at his disposal and it will be interesting to see how new faces blend into the mix against what promises to be testing opposition.

Despite defeats in Korea and Irlam earlier this week, positives can be taken from both games. Fitness being one but fans were impressed with the performance and commitment of players during these ’friendly’ games and hopes seemed to be high on the terraces for the forthcoming season.

The match will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs with Wimbledon holding the edge with two victories to date but United will be looking to level that score up on Saturday.

The Dons were famously founded in 2002 when Wimbledon FC was relocated to Milton Keynes and disillusioned fans took the measures to make sure the name and traditions of Wimbledon Football Club lived on.

The club began its reincarnation in the Combined Counties League and although the Wombles narrowly missed out on promotion in that first season they had an average attendance of more than 3,000.

Promotion was sealed in 2004, with an unbeaten record and a league and cup double which saw them move to the Isthmian League for to 2004-2005 season. The Dons ran away with the first division and in the process set a record of 78 league matches without defeat before losing 2-0 to Cray Wanderers on December 4.

The club found life a little harder in the Isthmian Premier Division, losing in the play-off semi finals in both 2006 and 2007. In the 2007-2008 season the club appointed Terry Brown as manager and were finally promoted to the Conference South with play-off success coming against Staines Town; a 2-1 victory saw the club move to the sixth tier of English football.

The Dons didn’t hang around in the Conference South for too long and were in or around the top of the table for most of the season, before sealing the title on the last day of the campaign.

The Wombles will play in the Blue Square Premier this season; against the likes of Luton Town, Oxford Untied, York City and Wrexham, an amazing feat for a club who held player trials for their inaugural team on Wimbledon Common in the summer of 2002.

The Don’s open their league campaign at home to recently relegated Luton Town on 8th August and will be looking to use Saturday’s game to build some momentum towards that opening fixture.

FC United will be hoping to score a goal at Kingsmeadow at the very least after drawing blanks on our two previous visits in 2005 and 2007. With Ben Deegan, Phil Marsh and Carl Lomax all looking in good form and wanting to stake a claim to lead the Reds’ attack this year things looking promising.

Saturday’s game is the usual 3.00pm kick off, it’s pay on the gate and prices are £8 adults, £4 concessions and £2 for under-14s. So get yourself to that football ground and cheer the lads on.

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First Posted ~ 14:26 Thu 23 Jul 2009
News ID ~ 2330
Last Updated ~ 12:36 Mon 21 May 2018