AFC Wimbledon vs Stevenage
Kingsmeadow, Saturday 30th August, 3:00 pm
Home side: DLWWL
Away side: WLLDL
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bennett, Barrett, Kennedy (Aziz 73), Francomb (Sainte-Luce 65), Bulman, Moore (Pell 65), Rigg, Akinfenwa, Tubbs
Stevenage: Beasant, Ashton, Wells, Dembele (Pett 46), Okimo, Whelpdale, Bond (Marriott 46), Walton, Deacon, Lee, Charles (Johnson 87)
Match Odds from William Hill: AFC Wimbledon 6/4 Draw 2/1 Stevenage 9/5
AFC Wimbledon host Stevenage in a League Two match which both sides will be hoping to win after not playing mid-week, for the first time this season.
AFC Wimbledon have just won three games at home this year and their last came in March, the same month that Stevenage last won a match away from home. The Dons lost last weekend to Hartlepool, after Pool’s striker Marlon Harewood scored a 68th minute winner. The Dons will be without Jack Smith who is still suffering from a knee injury. It is likely that 17-year-old Ben Harrison will remain in the first-team squad. Speaking to the club’s website, Dons manager Neal Ardley said: “Jack is doing straight-line running and we will look to step him up next week. Ben has enjoyed his time with us and he’s not just here to make up the numbers. He has been training with the first-team squad and that will only help him.”
Stevenage suffered another defeat last weekend to Wycombe Wanderers and, like Wimbledon, they took the lead after Darius Charles found the net. However goals from Paul Hayes, Peter Murphy and substitute Matt McClure gave Wanderers their third win of the season. The Hertfordshire club have also been hit with yet another injury as defender Harry Worley has been ruled out for the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament. The good news for Boro fans is defender Ronnie Henry and Calvin Zola have both been training this week, although Zola is still unlikely to feature this weekend. Dean Parrett continues his comeback as he completed his second week of light training.
The two sides have played each other on five occasions: two in League Two and once in the League Cup, FA Trophy and FA Cup. Stevenage have won three of the matches, including a 3-0 win in the League and also a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup in 2010, both of these games were away from home. The Dons’ only victory came in the FA Trophy when they beat Stevenage 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 2-2. The other match, which was the first meeting between the two sides was a 0-0 draw. The most recent meeting was in the League Cup two years ago with Stevenage winning the game 3-1. Striker Darius Charles is the current Stevenage player to have played in that game.
One to watch:
Adebayo Akinfenwa: Known for his strength and size, Akinfenwa will no doubt be a problem for Boro’s defence. He is still waiting for his first goal for Wimbledon, after signing from Gillingham. The 32-year-old has managed just eight shots on target this season but I think his presence will be enough to trouble the likes of Jon Ashton and Bira Dembele.
Charlie Lee: The 27-year-old has been one of Stevenage’s best players this season. He has settled in quickly at The Lamex and has helped lead the midfield, despite not wearing the captain’s armband. He might not be the tallest but does have a lot of strength, something that is needed against tougher opposition, especially with the likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa. I just hope that the poor performance and the frustration with the start that Stevenage have had, affects him as he can be a bit aggressive.
Wimbledon have scored in every game so far this season and you expect them to continue this again as Stevenage will have a weakened side due to injury. Looking at the head-to-head Stevenage will go into the game with confidence, something that has been lacking in recent weeks. Also with fan favourite, Ronnie Henry returning it could give the team a morale boost. However I feel that the poor start to the season will continue for Graham Westley’s men as I predict: