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AFC Wimbledon (Emirates FA Cup replay) Preview

19 November 2019

Rovers take on AFC Wimbledon in the Emirates FA Cup first round replay at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday night.

Darren Moore’s side played out a 1-1 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium earlier in November.

Rovers were scheduled to take on Shrewsbury Town last weekend but the game was postponed due to international call-ups for Sam Ricketts’ side. Wimbledon were beaten 2-0 at Blackpool thanks to a double from Armand Gnanduillet.

Wimbledon’s season so far

The Dons’ campaign started with consecutive defeats against Rotherham United and Fleetwood Town respectively, before they picked up their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at home to Accrington Stanley. The first month of the season proved to be a tough one and they would claim just one more point after playing out a goalless draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

Their poor start to the season continued into September where they picked up just a solitary point in Sky Bet League One. That came against Shrewsbury while they went down to defeats against the likes of MK Dons, Coventry, Bristol Rovers and Peterborough. They had to wait until October 5 for their first three points of the campaign, and it came against Rochdale when a dominant first-half display saw them score three goals in the opening 45 minutes - eventually winning the game 3-2.

That kick-started their season and set them on their way to three straight league victories, as they followed up the Rochdale win by beating Southend United and Portsmouth, before being beaten at Burton Albion in their final game in October. Prior to their first round draw with Rovers on November 5, The Dons drew 1-1 against Lincoln City, before their defeat to Blackpool last time out.

Who’s in charge?

Glyn Hodges replaced Wally Downes as permanent Wimbledon manager last month after a successful spell in caretaker charge of the club. Prior to that he was the club’s assistant manager and helped them survive relegation last season.

Ones to watch

Mitchell Pinnock

Having started his career with Southend United, Pinnock had spells with Bromley and Maidstone before signing for Dover in 2016. He became an established first-team player with the non-league side and that earned him his move to the Dons in 2018. Equally as comfortable playing in midfield or at left-back, the 24-year-old has proved to be a valuable addition to the squad.

Kwesi Appiah

The Ghanaian front-man earned himself a transfer to Crystal Palace in 2012 after scoring 22 goals in 24 games for Margate. He spent a lot of time on loan during his time at Selhurst Park, including spells with the likes of Cambridge United and Notts County before joining the Dons permanently in the summer of 2017.

Joe Pigott

The 25-year-old target man joined Wimbledon in January 2018 after an impressive spell with non-league outfit Maidstone United. Having started his career with Charlton Athletic, Pigott had loan spells with Luton Town and Southend United before joining Cambridge permanently in 2016. He struggled for first-team games there though and moved to Maidstone initially on loan, before making the move permanent in 2017. He has already proved to be a success at the Dons, and scored in the first tie between themselves and Rovers on November 9.

Who's the ref?

Christopher Sarginson will be the man in charge when Rovers take on AFC Wimbledon in the Emirates FA Cup first round replay on Tuesday night. You can find out more about him here.

Last time out

The two sides played out a battling 1-1 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium earlier in November. Joe Pigott’s first-half header had given the Dons the lead at the break, before a bullet header from Tom Anderson ensured a replay at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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