Before this match, Terry Brown spoke to reporters from both BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Humberside, playing down the Donsí chances of success and suggesting that keeping their opponents from scoring for an hour would be an achievement.
In doing so he was perhaps demonstrating a little of the wiliness that some had thought was missing from recent pre-match remarks. And maybe they were right, because with this impressive win at League 1 Scunthorpe United AFC Wimbledon moved a step closer to their first appearance in the FA Cup Third Round, with only Bradford City standing in their way.
Scunthorpe were clearly low on both form and confidence. It was easy to see why they have struggled in front of goal this season, and unfortunately the inability to score seemed to be catching. Had the Dons been just a little more clinical, this game would have been out of sight long before half-time.
Brown was without both Christian Jolley and Kieran Djilali, yet still felt confident enough to leave Jack Midson on the bench for a deserved rest. It was left to Charles Ademeno to lead the line, supported by Luke Moore and Ryan Jackson, in front of a midfield of Sammy Moore, Ricky Wellard and Rashid Yussuff. With Callum MacNaughton not available and birthday boy Fraser Franks on the bench, it was left to Jamie Stuart, Brett Johnson, Sam Hatton and man of the match Chris Bush to deal with a fairly ineffectual Scunthorpe attack.
The game started brightly with Scunthorpe looking jittery, and the Dons quickly settled into their passing game. Jackson twice made runs down the wing; the first lacked a cross at the end, and the second resulted in Luke Moore firing high and wide. With 11 minutes gone, Sam Slocombe in the home goal had to get down sharply to turn away a Hatton free-kick. Wimbledon continued to enjoy the lionís share of possession as a combination of their good link play and Scunthorpeís woeful passing led to a great number of breaks, all sadly lacking the final ball or shot.
Scunthorpeís first serious chance on 22 minutes was their best of the half, Seb Brown blocking from close range as Bobby Grant blew a golden opportunity for the hosts. Brown saved again from Mark Duffy shortly afterwards. The Donsí best chance of the half came just before the break when Sammy Moore fired narrowly over from 25 yards.
Terry Brown must have scented blood Ė for the second half he unleashed top scorer Midson, with Jackson making way. Midsonís impact was immediate: he just failed to find Ademeno with an excellent cross, then he set up Wellard, who shot tamely at Slocombe. Yussuff seemed to be denied by a defenderís arm as the Dons came out with all guns blazing.
Scunthorpeís night was summed up on 51 minutes as they won a free-kick in a dangerous position. Three players stood over the ball; all three took a touch before Bush emerged from the Dons wall and calmly took the ball from them. Chris Dagnall then had a shot saved by Brown and another blocked by Stuart as the home side tried to impose themselves.
It was always going to take an error or a moment of magic to break the deadlock, but Wimbledon seemed unable to take advantage of the many Scunthorpe errors. Cue Chris Bush. With 64 minutes gone he collected the ball inside the Scunthorpe half and threaded it exquisitely into Midsonís path. While the strikerís attempt to beat Slocombe lacked conviction, the rebound was gleefully dispatched by Luke Moore to send the small but vocal group of visiting Dons fans into transports of delight.
The game should have been over three minutes later, but Luke Moore was denied a second as his goal-bound effort was spooned over the bar by Ademeno.
Twice Scunthorpe nearly snatched an undeserved equaliser. Barchamís cross three minutes from time was deflected by substitute Max Porter, but only after Scunthorpe sub Garry Thompson had seen his fine effort brilliantly turned past the post by Seb Brown. It was a save so good that the referee gave a goal-kick, to the outrage of most of the crowd and the amusement of a few.
Buoyed by his excellent result, Terry Brown would now look to reignite his sideís league form, with the Dons seeking their first win in six games at Burton before turning their attention further north to Yorkshire.