Wednesday 20 June 2012
Magic moments: victory at the end of a marathon trip
The official website has been featuring your favourite moments of the past 10 years after an excellent response from supporters to our appeal last month.
Today, we turn our attentions back to AFC Wimbledon's promotion season from the Blue Square Premier.
It may not have been the most thrilling of matches, but Fleetwood away in the 2010/11 play-off semi-final was a particularly satisfying victory for the 625 Dons fans who made the journey. Goals from Luke Moore and Kaid Mohamed sealed a 2-0 victory at Highbury Stadium and made the 500-mile round trip worthwhile for the likes of Adam Griggs, who is now a PhD student at Swansea University.
Adam, who has been a Dons fan since the Selhurst Park days, said: "The past year or so has cost me an absolute fortune in travel across the country, but nothing beats the sensation of a Dons win!"
Though AFC Wimbledon stunned Fleetwood with a 6-1 win in the second leg to earn an 8-1 aggregate win, the memories of that away trip provided special moments for Adam.
"The game which sticks out most for me was the play-off semi-final in the Conference promotion season away to Fleetwood." he said. "My dad was driving along with some friends, and we didn't leave Kent until gone midday as a friend of mine had an exam to complete. It was an exceptionally nervy journey, worrying whether we'd make the game, and whether our team would turn up on the day! We arrived in the ground an hour before kick off, passing the delights of the Fleetwood ice factory on the way. We then enjoyed an overcooked chicken burger on the terrace, watching the players warm up, as we eagerly discussed potential outcomes of the game."
The pre-match debate centred around a bold team selection by Terry Brown as he preferred the more attack-minded Ricky Wellard to Lee Minshull on the night. That decision proved to be be pivotal as Ricky played a key role in the second goal by picking out Luke Moore, who set-up Kaid Mohamed to apply the finish. By that time, Luke had already helped himself to the opener to leave Adam and the rest of the Dons faithful celebrating a famous win on the Lancashire coast.
Adam recalled: "Despite it being a Friday evening, the away stand was filling up and songs began to resonate throughout the ground. The first half was an even contest with both teams moving the ball around but without managing to penetrate a solid defensive line. Then, out of nowhere, an under-hit backpass was capitalised on by Luke Moore, who calmly slotted it into the corner. As this was down the opposite end, it felt like an eternity before the ball hit the back of the net, cue mass hysteria in the crowd. I remember punching the air in delight!
"In the second half, we started to play football, confidence was high, and there were goals in us. A Ricky Wellard slide rule pass through the defence was latched onto by Luke Moore, who then crossed it to 'Mo', who guided it into the corner. An adrenaline rush soared through me, I remember darting towards the players and screaming like a madman. The delight was unprecedented, it felt like we'd reached Manchester. I also remember a guy next to me jumping around with the stewards, who were also surprisingly enjoying the moment. We should have had more as the game went on, but 2-0 was a healthy lead to take into the second leg. The journey home never felt so sweet, it's days like that as a football fan you live for. The rest, as they say, is history."
To read a full match report from the Fleetwood match, click here.