AFC Wimbledon 7 - 0 Chessington Utd
Don't use seventh heaven, they pleaded. Hmph, ok, I'll have to get all literary then!
"Once upon a time, there was a place that wasn't a place. It had many names: Avernus, Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades, Abaddon, Sheol... It was an inferno of pain and flame and ice, where every nightmare had come true long since... We'll call it Hell." But Chessington United call it Kingsmeadow! According to lore, there are seven levels of Hell, and I think it's fair to say that the United players found the lot tonight.
The only surprise was that it took Dons seven minutes to draw first blood. Kevin Cooper had already crashed a shot against the bar as early as the second minute, before Ryan Gray's corner was headed goal-wards by Matt Everard. The header was blocked, but fell invitingly for Everard to smash the ball under the keeper from ten yards. Five minutes later and Darren Dobinson, right wing in place of late arrival Andy Sullivan, jinked past a couple of players, forced his way into the middle and let fly from 25 yards only to see the woodwork again deny a goal. Everard thundered another Gray corner just over and Kevin Cooper was denied by a fine save from the keeper after latching onto a free kick from our own half, flicked on by Everard. It wasn't until the 30th minute that Dons doubled their lead, Gray's marauding run and cross from the right was only cleared as far as Joe Sheerin, who crashed the ball over the keeper from just inside the box. With United already beaten, AFC opened up with two more goals before the break. On 38 minutes, Gavin Bolger did well to win the ball on the left, fed Seb Favata and Danny Oakins was on hand to head home the pinpoint cross. Just three minutes later Sheerin was on hand with a "perfectly placed header with power" (c) King Don.
Those with good memories (or reference books) spent half-time wondering if we could beat the 30 year old record 9-0 thumping of Basingstoke Town, and this wasn't a discourtesy to our visitors, but a fair reflection on our dominance and recent goal-scoring prowess. It looked on the cards when Dons opened up the second half with two quick scores. Sheerin should have completed his hat-trick a minute in after Favata fed Cooper and he pulled the ball back along the line to find Joe running in at the back post, but he scooped it over under pressure. Dons were not to be denied, and a minute later Cooper got the ball on the right edge of the box, cut inside his marker and curled the ball into the corner, which is becoming something of a trademark finish. With less than 50 minutes on the clock Everard again rose above all the head home Gray's corner from the right, equalling Dons recent biggest win. With double figures in sight, the introduction of Sullivan and Scott for Bassey and Cooper just after the hour appeared to throw the system out of shape, although Scott, in particular, looked lively. Pressure from AFC amounted to nothing, and United's lone striker, ex-Don Robbie Burns was replaced with 15 minutes to go, but Chessington held firm until the last ten minutes, when Paul Scott ran onto a Gray flick down the line, muscled past his man into the box and was tripped as he lined up a shot. Sheerin's penalty was low, hard and in the left hand corner and, although the keeper managed to get a hand to it, it nestled in the back of the net for number seven and Dons biggest victory since May 1973.
Chessington United's young side were not the worst we've seen at Kingsmeadow this season, Frimley Green were, but they were clinically despatched by a side showing the confidence of scoring 50 goals in their 12 competitive games so far this season (conceding 10) and on a run of 21 consecutive league wins.