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Saturday 26 July 2003
Friendly - Senior

AFC Wimbledon    1 - 4    Watford
Gavin Bolger (86)
  (10) Scott Fitzgerald
(30) Sam Swonnell
(32) Hamaur Bouazza
(81) Scott Fitzgerald
(sub 45)  Ray Merry 1 Chalmers 
 Keith Ward 2 Ben Herd 
(sub 75)  Paul Quinn 3 Jamie Collins 
 Danny Oakins 4 Dominic Blizzard 
(sub 45)  Leon White 5 Nathan Boothe 
(sub 45)  Lee Sidwell 6 Gary Fisken 
(sub 67)  Simon Bassey 7 Sam Swonnell (sub 65) 
 Gavin Bolger 8 Jamie Hand 
(sub 75)  Joe Sheerin 9 Anthony McNamee 
(sub 9)  Kevin Cooper 10 Scott Fitzgerald 
(sub 67)  Ryan Gray 11 Hamaur Bouazza (sub 65) 
(sub 9)  Wade Falana 12 Elliott Godfrey (sub 65) 
(sub 45)  Tony Smith 13  
(sub 45)  Roger Joseph 14 Rob Martin (sub 65) 
(sub 45)  Steve Gibson 15 Mawer 
(sub 67)  Darren Dobinson 16 Unknown Player 
(sub 67)  Noel Frankum 17 Kirk 
(sub 75)  Sean Daly 18  
(sub 75)  Ryan Luffman 19  

Match report

AFC Wimbledon 1 Watford 4

Other Subs:
18. Sean Daly (3, 75m)
19. Ryan Luffman (9, 75m)

Just over 2,000 fans turned up for Dons "first home game" in thirteen years, and their first game against professional opposition since returning to the non-league ranks. The match was played in aid of the Milly Dowler Fund and raised a more than respectable 12,059.

Watford turned up with a mixture of youth and limited experience, few of their team having played regularly for their first team, and minus Neil Ardley, Marcus Gayle and Terry Burton, who many had hoped would make an appearance.

Dons started with what seems to be Terry's preferred season starting eleven, excepting bustling striker Leon White standing in at centre-back for Matt Everard.

The first half started with Dons chasing the ball and their opponents around. Kevin Cooper turned awkwardly after nine minutes and was replaced by Wade Falana, and only a minute later a cross from the right wing was powerfully headed home by Scott Fitzgerald. Watford continued to pressure the Dons goal, but had to wait for the 30th minute before doubling their lead when Sam Swonnell stroked home a cross from the right. Two minutes later and Watford were threatening to run away with it, Hamaur Bouazza shooting home from the left.

The second half was much more evenly contested, although Watford had the edge to start with. The usual plethora of substitutes ensured it was all pretty disjointed, and it wasn't until the last ten minutes that things happened. Firstly one of the subs increased Watford's lead, then a smart run down the right from Steve Gibson allowed him space to cross to Ryan Luffman, who touched the ball back into the path of Gavin Bolger. His strike screamed into the roof of the net from twenty yards.

Paul Quinn, Danny Oakins, Gavin Bolger, Joe Sheerin and Noel Frankum all looked happy to compete at this level, Smith is starting to find his feet (although he needs to get off his line a bit quicker on occasion) and Roger Joseph looked assured in the tackle and on the ball. Steve Gibson set up the goal with a decent run and cross and looked solid at right back and Sean Daly, happily returning after his pre-season trouble, could make a late charge for first team honours at left or centre back.

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