The Dons slipped out of the Westview League Cup in frustrating fashion at Imperial Fields, Morden against a spirited Tooting & Mitcham side.
From the team that beat Harrow last Saturday, only Garrard, Barnes and Howard were missing due to injury, whilst Kersey and Dsane started on the bench. Wayne Finnie and Steve Butler came in at the back whilst Darren Grieves and Brentford loanee Scott Fitzgerald started up front.
However before many of the visiting fans had even got into the ground, the Dons fell behind in the second minute. Tooting striker Paul Vines scuffed an right foot shot from 20 yards but it did enough to beat Andy Little and nestle in the bottom corner of the net.
For the remaining 88 minutes a resolute 3 - 5 - 2 formation saw the home side defend with fortitude and a little luck as the Dons piled forward thoroughout.
Initially Tooting had looked good value for their lead and could have doubled it in the 7th minute, when Vines saw his shot rebound to safety off the underside of the crossbar.
Gradually though the Dons began to force Tooting back and Fitzgerald had two early sights of goal but could only direct a header over and a shot straight at home keeper King when well found by Grieves.
Tooting looked tigerish in midfield but on the break the Dons were finding space inbetween defence and midfield to good effect. Grieves could only direct a header straight at King after a trademark long throw from Finnie and Fitzgerald looked odds on to score when the ball broke to him in the area, but he too could only shoot straight at King.
Without creating more than the odd half chance, Tooting had looked comfortable with a one goal half time lead.
Using the swirling wind to good effect, the Dons stepped up their commitment and guile in the early part of the second half, creating no fewer than 5 shots on goal in the first quarter.
Firstly King had to stretch high to deflect over a header from Grieves, before Fitzgerald on more than one occasion had possession in a dangerous looking possession, but found his final shot blocked by a back 3 well marshalled by Tooting's Joe Vines.
When he did manage to evade his markers, Fitzgerald was unfortunate to see a goal bound shot deflect off a stray defender's heel for a corner. This effort on goal on 65 minutes was simptomatic of the Dons' fortunes in front of goal - neat approach play but no killer touch at the vital moment.
In the game's final quarter both young winger Robin Shroot and top scorer Roscoe Dsane were introduced as substitutes. Both looked a touch classier than anyone else on the pitch and both had goal bound shots blocked by keeper King within minutes of coming on.
Despite finishing the game with three strikers on the pitch, all of the possession and time encamped in the Tooting area, especially in the second period, came to naught and the home side were able to celebrate a cherished win over their local rivals.
Dons fans and manager Dave Anderson will be hoping some of the walking wounded in the dressing room are fit enough to return for the vital weekend league clash against Tonbridge.