KINGSTONIAN 0 AFC WIMBLEDON 2
When the Dons took on Kingstonian for last season's Trevor Jones Memorial Trophy, it was Kingstonian who were the Premier Division side and AFC Wimbledon the 1st Division newcomers. It's fair to say that the Dons were highly flattered by the 4-1 victory on that occasion.
Only six players from that game were on the park this time around, three on each side, and the roles were reversed, the score-line more reflective of the game.
Play was interrupted after only two minutes by one of the sprinklers, foreshadowing the second half drizzle with a downpour of its own, but once play got underway in earnest it was AFC Wimbledon that probed down the left wing for the early breakthrough. In the first ten minutes Steve Butler headed Ryan Gray's cross wide of the goal, Matt York's header was cleared off the line after a corner from the same source and Richard Butler was taken down from behind on five separate occasions.
Kingstonian hit back with two efforts either side of the quarter hour mark, Tony Reid cutting in from the right and stinging Josh Lennie's palms with a drive from 25 yards, then Stuart Reeks cross from the right found Mark Watson at the far post, but his header dropped harmlessly wide.
The Dons pushed again, Richard Butler chasing down a ball over the defence and, under pressure from a defender on his shoulder, lobbed the ball goal-wards. Chuck Martini scrambled to push it away from the angle of post and crossbar.
With twenty minutes gone the visitors took the lead. Wayne Finney launched a trademark long throw towards the penalty spot and sponsor's man of the match, Steve Butler, rose above the flat-footed defence to head past the static keeper and into the far bottom corner.
Kingstonian almost took advantage while Richard Butler was receiving treatment off the pitch for an injury that was to result in his substitution, Lennie scrambling to turn Reeks' left foot drive around the post and then palming down another long-range effort from the resultant cleared corner.
With Richard Butler unable to continue, Shane Smeltz came off the bench to partner debutant Tony Boot in the Dons forward line.
Kingstonian came out for the second half with the bit between their teeth, and for the first fifteen minutes pressed the Dons defence hard. Although mostly restricted to long range efforts, Lennie was twice forced into decent saves, turning one close range attempt over the bar and the flinging himself in front of a joint header from Reeks and Michael Brady.
Against the run of play, AFC Wimbledon doubled their lead with just over an hour on the clock, half time substitute Sean Hillier running onto a precise through-ball from the left and drawing Martini before calmly lifting it over the keeper from ten yards.
The game then petered out, with the clouds opening and Kingstonian making half a dozen substitutions in twelve minutes, and the only real incident of note was Smeltz's twenty-five yard drive forcing Martini into a good save.