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AFC Wimbledon (H) match preview

16 November 2018

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Rovers return home, as well as to league action, this Saturday when they host AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers will be looking to bounce back from defeat following their Checkatrade Trophy exit at the hands of Notts County after a 4-2 loss at Meadow Lane on Wednesday night.

Wimbledon on the other hand will be looking to keep their momentum going following last Friday night’s 1-0 win away at non-league side Haringey Borough in the FA Cup first round.

Brief history of AFC Wimbledon.

Wimbledon play at the 4,850-capacity Kingsmeadow stadium, which has been their home since the club’s re-formation in 2002.

They are nicknamed either the Dons or the Wombles, with the name Wombles coming from the TV show/book series of the same name, which were found on Wimbledon Common.

Wimbledon were formed as a result of the original club being moved to Milton Keynes, with disgruntled fans choosing instead to keep the club in London and creating a phoenix club which began life in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

They quickly rose up through the non-league system, taking just seven years to reach the Conference. They sealed their fifth promotion in just nine seasons in 2011 to reach the EFL for the first ever time in their history, defeating Luton Town on penalties at the Etihad Stadium in the Conference play-off final.

This will be their third consecutive season in League One, making it into the third tier in 2016 via the League Two play-offs after defeating Plymouth Argyle 2-0 at Wembley Stadium thanks to goals from Lyle Taylor and Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Who’s the gaffer?

Simon Bassey looks set to be the man in the opposition dugout when the two sides meet on Saturday, taking temporary charge of the Dons following the departure of previous boss Neal Ardley on Monday.

Ones to watch

Mitch Pinnock

The former Arsenal youth player joined from Dover Athletic over the summer. After seven years with the Gunners and a further four with Southend United, Pinnock dropped down into non-league with Bromley, Tonbridge Angels and Maidstone United, before making his first move to Dover. He joined Kingstonian during the early part of 2016, before re-joining Dover that summer, and after 12 goals in 65 league games from midfield, he signed with the Dons ahead of this season. He scored his first goal in a Wimbledon shirt last week, scoring in the 90th minute of their 1-0 win away at non-league outfit Haringey Borough in the first round of the FA Cup.

Kwesi Appiah

The Ghanaian-international forward represented his country at the 2015 African Cup of Nations. A prolific spell in non-league with Margate saw Appiah picked up by Crystal Palace in 2012, though much of his time with the Eagles was spent away from Selhurst Park on loan, particularly enjoying time spells with Cambridge United, the Dons, and Norwegian side Viking, before making a permanent move to Kingmeadow in 2017. The first goal of his permanent spell with the Dons came in the fixture between these two sides back in August last year, with Wimbledon running out as 2-0 winners over Rovers in the early part of the League One season.

Deji Oshilaja

The powerful central defender was named as Dons captain ahead of the start of this season. Oshilaja joined the Dons permanently before the start of last season from Cardiff City, having previously spent time on loan with Wimbledon in 2015. He made just three appearances in the FA Cup and League Cup for Cardiff, instead spending most of his time away on loan in spells at Newport County, Sheffield Wednesday and Gillingham, as well as his previous switch to Kingsmeadow. He signed a two-year deal upon his return to the Dons, and after an impressive season at the back which saw him help them stay in League One, he was given the armband.

Last time out

The last meeting between the two clubs saw them play out a goalless draw at the Keepmoat Stadium in May 2018. The stalemate in South Yorkshire saw the Dons secure the point they needed to maintain their League One status for another year.

Tickets for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with AFC Wimbledon are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase yours now by either visiting in-store, calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.


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