AFC Wimbledon 1 - 0 Feltham
With two inches of snow cleared off the pitch since Wednesday night, and a heavy drizzle falling through most of the game, the Kingsmeadow pitch was in remarkably good condition and a credit to the hard work of Trev and his crew.
With Paul Scot already out with Flu, Joe Sheerin's late absence for the same reason was covered by Carshalton's dual registered Ali Russell returning to the fold. Clinton Moore, as far as the fans can tell, has vanished into the ether. Otherwise AFC started with Terry's preferred line-up of late all present and correct.
This is where it gets hard. There are only two lines in my notepad from the first half and the first was for Simon Bassey's improbably full length diving header to steer the ball back to Lee Carroll. The second was just before the break. Kevin Cooper received the ball from the left, tried to make space but was dragged down on the penalty spot. His kick was low, but comfortably saved by Feltham's keeper, Colin Ryder, making his record 327th appearance for the visitors. Other than that the first forty-five minutes matched the weather, dour and sloppy.
The second half was a little better, but not much. AFC were unable to turn their superior corner count or shot ratio into scores, other than the only real bright spark of the game, exactly half-way through the period. Noel Frankum, having just replaced Seb Favata, found Ryan Gray on the left wing. A quick triangle with Michael Harvey gave the left-back some space and his measured cross was met by Gavin Bolger's head, six yards out, and settled in the back of the net if front of the West Bank via the underside of the crossbar.
Feltham's good natured Jesus look-alike, Will Storrie, was replaced by pacey forward Trevor Charley with twelve minutes to go, much to the chagrin of the crowd, and Charley had Feltham's best chance of the match, a low drive that beat both Carroll and the post.
In the end, Feltham were not as good physically as their side of last season, and AFC considerably more patient than our side of last season, and that was enough for the three points.