Match report by Barrie Scott.
I Following our league defeat at Wallingford we were matched against one of the bottom clubs Greenford Viking who in the past had been the whipping boys of the league and so the Dons fans were anticipating an AFCW goal fest.
We started brightly enough with Joe Sheerin forcing a good save form the Viking Greenford keeper which went for a corner in the first minute, but from then on we never seemed to be able to make that deciding final pass. We were playing fancy football, trying to walk it into the net but always with that final telling pass going astray.
When the first goal did come it came courtesy of Andy Sullivan’s shin and I think had it been hit with pace the keeper could well have saved it. Our defence played well with Sean Daly looking good and our midfield holding their own but for once the partnership of Joe and Ali Russell up front seemed to lack their normal bite. Joe seemed to be labouring and as it turned out was injured. However we certainly had chances to increase the score with Joe, Ali, Sulli. Mark Nicholas and Lee Sidwell all going close. Viking Greenford also had chances to equalise, bringing out a couple of good saves from Glynn Shimell and whilst I would say AFC were the stronger team in the first half I wouldn’t have said by much.
Second half started without Joe, replaced by Coops who certainly made a difference to the strike force. It was virtually one way traffic from the kick off with Glyn Shimell looking like ‘Billy no mates’ but still we couldn’t score that elusive second goal. Still we were trying the fancy football and I feared it could be one of those matches when the opposition would get a very undeserved sneaky equaliser. Ali Russell for once couldn’t break through and like Joe, seemed to be lacking that cutting edge.
Terry Eames then decided to blood his new youngster Andrew Petty, signed the previous Monday from Nethern and he substituted Ali Russell. Within minutes we were looking more dangerous with simple football played to feet and we started to create really good chances. The second goal duly came with a through ball from Lee Sidwell going to Petty who swivelled neatly to slot it past the Greenford keeper. The third was neatly taken by Coops and could have had another when having beaten the keeper to the ball saw his side footed shot go agonisingly wide of the post. Once again it was Coops who was unlucky not to score the fourth, when having rounded the keeper, he hit it with his left foot (yes left, which would have been his 7th with that foot) only to see it saved on the line. However it came back to Coops and for once he decided to pass it to Petty who duly scored his second, the Dons fourth from just inside the goal area. Without doubt Andrew Petty looks an exciting prospect and although short is well built, seems to be able to hold his own and doesn’t get knocked off the ball too easily. I think Terry is going to have a major headache soon having to decide between all the superb strikers we have.
In summary I would say it really was a shame we didn’t take advantage earlier of our overall dominance and only managed the four. After all every goal for could prove decisive at the end of the season. Finally I was sure that I saw Coops head the ball, a momentous occasion but on asking him in the bar afterwards was told categorically that it hit him on the shoulder not the head and that was accidental!