Leatherhead 1 AFC Wimbledon 1
19. Wade Falana (59m)
20. Roger Joseph (45m)
5. Matt Everard (71m)
Dons took on Leatherhead for the Maureen Wooldridge Memorial Cup for the second season running, and this time took a share of the trophy, after holding out for a 1-1 draw against their superior placed opposition.
Leon White took advantage of Joe Sheerin's absence to partner Kevin Cooper up front and Steve Gibson started at right back in place of Keith Ward. Wade Falana, recently released by Bromley, was on the bench.
Both sides started brightly, Leatherhead lobbing Ray Merry and the bar in the first minute and Lee Sidwell knocking Ryan Gray's cross wide after some good pressure from Leon White a minute later. Leatherhead slowly edged on top, twice some fluid passing gave them wasted opportunities to take the lead before Simon Bassey latched onto a half cleared Ryan Gray cross in the 25th minute and, when the ball dropped lose, Kevin COOPER was on hand to curl the ball into the top right corner. Two minutes later and White headed Sidwell's cross straight into the keeper's arms and immediately after that Ray Merry was pole-axed by an incoming forward and spent several minutes receiving treatment before continuing.
With ten minutes if the first half remaining, long time supporter Dave Thoms was delighted to head the ball back into play with a perfectly placed header. Within five minutes Cooper was spurred into a chase with the keeper, nipped it past him and was bundled over but only for the referee to award a corner, so half time came with the Dons 1-0 up and the blanket for the Royal Marsden filling nicely.
Leatherhead came out flying in the second half, and they quickly equalised when a corner was headed home by their number 12. With the scores level the game became very even, and it wasn't until the last quarter of an hour, after the usual flurry of substitutions, that things picked up again. Darren Dobinson set off on a mazy run down the left, worked the ball to Cooper and his cross was somehow steered wide at the back post by Andy Sullivan. Four minutes later and the Tanner's manager, Alex Inglethorpe, broke through the middle but Merry managed to turn the shot wide of his left post. With seven minutes remaining Sullivan chased down a defender and his shot just missed the front post. Inglethorpe continued the too and fro action with a delightful chip from 20 yards that Merry tipped over the bar at full stretch, and the final action was in the last minute, Matt Everard heading wide from a corner.
In all, a good run out and test for the Dons, and a share in the first silverware of the season.