Wednesday 06 June 2012
It only took nine years: the glory at Staines Town
After an excellent response to a request for your best moments of the past 10 years, the official website has so far featured several great memories from the early years.
But in terms of pure drama, the 2-1 win at Staines Town in the Ryman Premier play-off final is hard to beat. Terry Brown’s first season at AFC Wimbledon eventually ended in glory, but for so long that looked unlikely as the hosts led 1-0 until the 82nd minute.
However, goals from Luis Cumbers and Mark De Bolla turned it around for the Dons and the final whistle signalled ecstatic celebrations from our supporters at Staines Town as we clinched a spot in the Conference South on Saturday, May 3, 2008.
Jonathan Wilkins was one of 2,460 spectators present at Wheatsheaf Lane and he can remember celebrating on the pitch with the likes of Jason Goodliffe, Luke Garrard, Jon Main, Marcus Gayle and the man who scored our winning goal in the 88th minute.
Jonathan, aged 42, from Dorking, Surrey, said: “Mark De Bolla's winner at Staines in the Ryman Premier play-off final is my favourite goal. The goal meant so much to so many of us that day and I don't think I have ever felt such joy at a football match. When the final whistle blew I ran on the pitch like a school kid and with the help of a few other Dons supporters, I lifted Mr De Bolla onto my shoulders. In all the excitement I forgot that I was supposed to be looking after my nine-year old nephew. Next day I could hardly walk though as my back was destroyed!"
Fellow AFC Wimbledon fan, Anthony Sirkett, could not bring himself to watch the match as he was so nervous about the outcome. But that all changed after Luis scrambled home the equaliser and it signalled an all-night party for the Dons supporter.
Anthony said: “I spent most of the second-half peering over a fence watching a barbeque in progress as I was unable to watch until Cumbers bundled the ball in for the equaliser! God knows where we would be now had De Bolla not smashed that free kick in!! All I know is that I would probably not have had to quietly sneak into my house at 5.00 am the next morning!”
Just over three years later and AFC Wimbledon were in the Football League and THAT goal from Mark De Bolla was a defining moment in Terry Brown's mission to get us back where we belonged.
To read a report from the official website of the dramatic match at Staines, click here.