Just 49 days after the euphoria of Eastlands, Wimbledon’s preparations for life in League Two got off to a winning start and a goal from one of their new strikers against a Fulham side which included several Premier League names.
With Seb Brown missing with a slight injury, Jack Turner took over between the sticks for the first half. Former loanee Chris Bush, now having signed up as a Don, was at left-back, and he was joined in defence by Ryan Jackson on the right with captain Jamie Stuart partnered by Brett Johnson in the middle. New signing Max Porter lined up in midfield with Reece Jones and Ricky Wellard, while Luke Moore offered support to a front line partnership of another new boy, Jack Midson, with Christian Jolley.
On a day of sunshine and the occasional brief shower, new Fulham boss Martin Jol took the opportunity to include first-teamers David Stockdale in goal along with Chris Baird, Aaron Hughes, Bjørn Helge Riise and the experienced Danny Murphy, who pulled the strings in midfield. With fitness and formations the key factor for both managers, the two sides still managed to offer up an entertaining early pre-season encounter.
Turner beat away a Lauri Dalla Valle effort after 10 minutes, while seven minutes later Midson couldn’t quite connect with Jolley’s supply. Fulham’s best chance of the half came after 40 minutes, when Kerim Frei’s effort rebounded off the post and Marcello Trotta failed to make the most of the follow-up. With the break looming, Jolley crossed from a tight angle on the left, but Midson’s attempt was scrambled away.
Keeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz along with two outfield trialists, Pole Szymon Sidorowicz and experienced striker Bas Savage, joined Wimbledon regulars Sam Hatton, Lee Minshull, Rashid Yussuff, Brendan Kiernan and new front man Charles Ademeno as substitutions at the start of the second half. Despite all the changes the Dons still coped well, Jaimez-Ruiz pulling off some decent blocks as the visitors were mainly restricted to set pieces. Victory was achieved courtesy of Johnson, beating Stockdale from close in after 47 minutes, and Ademeno’s first for his new club after 83 minutes when his shot from the left took a deflection, wrong-footing the Fulham keeper.
AFC Wimbledon: Turner (Jaimez-Ruiz 46), Jackson (Hatton 46), Bush (Gordon 76), Porter (Sidorowicz 46), Stuart (Minshull 46), Johnson (Campbell 69), Wellard (Merryfield 77), Jones (Yussuff 46), Moore L (Kiernan 46), Midson (Ademeno 46), Jolley (Savage 46)
Johnson 67 and Ademeno 83
Fulham: Stockdale, Baird, Hughes, Halliche, Smith, Riise (Marsh-Brown 60), Murphy, Donegan (Harris 82), Frei, Dalla Valle, Trotta (Hoesen 46)