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Monday 28 March 2005
Ryman League, Division One

AFC Wimbledon    3 - 0    Dorking
Steve Butler (06)
Sonny Farr (25)
Leon McDowall (85)
 Paul Smith 1 Stuart Baverstock 
 Antony Howard 2 Micky Regan 
 Lewis Hamilton 3 Steve Coyle ( 48) (sub 71) 
 Jon-Barrie Bates 4 Peter Maynard ( 22) 
 Steve Butler 5 Will Jenkins ( 77) 
 Mark Cooper 6 Kevin Burgess 
 Robert Ursell 7 Alex McGregor 
(sub 24)  Michael Woolner 8 Adam Broomhead ( 45) 
(sub 64)  Richard Butler 9 Craig Duffell (sub 51) 
( 73)  Shane Smeltz 10 Stewart Vaughan ( 51) 
 Sonny Farr 11 Kevin Terry (sub 51) 
 Joe Vines 12 Martyn Williams (sub 51) 
 Matt Martin 13 Tim Brewster 
(sub 24)  Chris Gell 14 Mark Skinner (sub 51) 
 Ryan Gray 15 Dave Towse (sub 71) 
(sub 64)  Leon McDowall 16 James Earp 

Match report

Three goals and three points secured the Dons? place in the Ryman Premier League for next season.

Dave Anderson made just one change from the team that triumphed at Banstead, as Mark Cooper replaced Joe Vines at centre-back.

But it was his defensive partner Steve Butler who sent the Dons in front with their first chance on six minutes. Shane Smeltz did enough to win the ball as he was felled by a defender?s challenge and the skipper strode on to collect the ball and hammer an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of the net, giving Baverstock no chance.

Smeltz and Richard Butler then combined to tee up Micky Woolner. His low shot beat Baverstock, but was hacked clear off the line. Wimbledon were well on top and Butler won the ball in a three way collision between himself, a defender and the goalkeeper, but the ball was cleared before Farr could take advantage.

Woolner was then sent flying by a crude Maynard challenge on the edge of the box as he looked to pull the trigger after a jinking run. Maynard was booked, but after a long time on the ground Woolner was taken off the pitch on a stretcher with his leg strapped. Chris Gell made his first team return in his stead.

Bad news indeed for the luckless Woolner as he looked to be in some pain, but in the short term Farr ensured retribution was swift by curling a low shot in at the far post from the free-kick. 2-0.

Maynard?s every touch was booed by an angry crowd thereafter but the referee and linesman were soon the subject of their anger as Jenkins felled Richard Butler with a forearm smash no more than five yards away from the linesman?s touchline. Extraordinarily no free-kick was given. Matters turned fractious shortly afterwards with a spell of pushing and shoving following the award of another freekick, but after lengthy consultation the referee just spoke to Smeltz and a Dorking player without taking any further action.

Steve Butler was then inches away from connecting with the ball in the six-yard box in a goalmouth scramble and Gell had Baverstock beaten from distance only to see his low drive rebound off the post. Wimbledon were rampant by now and Dorking?s defence struggled to cope. Farr went close from another free-kick as Baverstock tipped it onto the post. Smeltz was eventually crowded out as the ball was crossed back in. Only a last ditch header denied the same player at the back post after a clever Farr free-kick, as the Dons had to settle for just a two goal lead at the break.

And the second half continued in similar vein. Ursell rattled the drive with a free-kick and Coyle was booked for a late tackle on Howard. Dave Anderson wandered round the pitch with his traditional cup of tea on his way back from the dressing room and was greeted with a chorus of ?4-0 to the In-ger-land? by the West Bank. He almost laughed.

Dorking went for a double substitution as they attempted to drag themselves back into the game. Almost immediately they created their best chance of the match, but Smith raced out to block from close range.

The second half was much more even than the first as the Dons seemed almost to play within themselves a little, perhaps with a half an eye on the trip to Walton and the Sutton Semi Final. The referee enlivened proceedings by deciding not to book Jenkins for smashing Richard Butler to the ground from behind, then producing a yellow card when Smeltz simply ran into a Dorking player. Jenkins was finally booked for an innocuous block which didn?t appear to be worthy of a yellow card.

Steve Butler went close with a low drive and then a diving header from a corner, but a third goal looked likely to prove elusive. Farr stung Baverstock?s hands with a drive from a quickly taken free-kick.

But with five minutes remaining the third goal arrived and the promotion party was able to get underway. Smeltz twisted and turned before sliding the ball into the box. McDowall put the match beyond doubt with a low drive into the bottom corner.

Baverstock then saved well from McDowall, brilliantly from the rebound by Sonny Farr and watched as McDowall hit the second rebound into the bar, but 3-0 was good enough to let the party commence.

A draw will be needed at Walton to secure the title, but the final whistle ensured that Dave Anderson and his team have wrapped up promotion by Easter. Pretty good eh?

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