All you need to know ahead of Dons clash
Luton Town v AFC Wimbledon
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 19th September 2015, kick-off 3pm
Official live online commentary on Hatters Player
• Town aiming for fourth win in five in all competitions
• Hatters 19th in League 2; Dons 12th
• AFC Wimbledon unbeaten away (W1, D3)
• Town only beaten AFC once in seven meetings
• Wombles beat the Hatters in 2011 Conference Play-Off final
• Ankle injury could rule out Scott Cuthbert
TICKETS! Fancy coming to the game? Well, tickets for the match against the Wombles are now on sale at the ticket office at category B prices, details of which can be found by clicking here. Last season the fixture at Kenilworth Road attracted a crowd of 9,101 so remember to purchase your tickets quick to avoid disappointment.
WHO? AFC Wimbledon, aka the Wombles, the club which formed as recently as 2002 following the ‘old’ Wimbledon’s decision to move to Milton Keynes. Their rise through the pyramid has been one of football’s success stories. They began life in the Combined Counties League and won five promotions in eight seasons to reach the Football League.
DON’T REMIND US. Their final promotion came at the hands of the Hatters in 2011 when they defeated us on penalties in a shootout at the City of Manchester Stadium in the Conference Play-Off final.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? The Town and the former Wimbledon were adversaries in the top-flight during the 1980s, including a FA Cup semi-final meeting which the Dons won on their way to lifting the trophy in 1988. However, against AFC Wimbledon, the Hatters have only won one of the seven meetings. That came at Kenilworth Road in a 3-0 in September 2010 with George Pilkingon, Zdenek Kroca and Matthew Barnes-Homer on target. The first meeting between the two clubs was the Hatters’ first in the Conference (a 1-1 draw at Kingsmeadow in August 2009), while last season the Wombles did the double over the Town; winning 1-0 at Kenilworth Road and 3-2 at Kingsmeadow.
IN CHARGE. At the helm for his second season in charge is former Wimbledon defender Neal Ardley. An England Under-21 international, Ardley played over 300 times for the old Wimbledon before going onto play for Watford, Cardiff and Millwall. He took charge of AFC in October 2012, and last season he guided the Wombles to their highest Football League position of 15th.
PREVIOUS FORM. The Dons came from a goal down to secure a last-gasp 2-1 win over Notts County last Saturday and arrive at Kenilworth Road in 12th place in League 2. Ardley’s men have won three, drawn three and lost two of their first eight games this season. The Dons lost two of their first three matches (both at home to Plymouth and Cambridge). The Dons are, therefore, unbeaten away from Kingsmeadow.
ONE TO WATCH. The Wombles’ talisman is none other than striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, who gave the Hatters defence a torrid time in two matches last term. He scored 15 goals in his debut season at Kingsmeadow, including a goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup. He has three goals to his name already this season and is now just 10 goals away from 150 goals in the Football League in his career.
DID YOU KNOW? Our visitors on Saturday hold the record of the longest unbeaten run of league matches in English senior football, having played 78 consecutive league games without a defeat between February 2003 and December 2004.
POTENTIAL MILESTONES. Should he play any part in Saturday’s game, goalkeeper Mark Tyler will make his 275th appearance for the club. Fellow long-serving team-mate Alex Lawless is also in line to make a 175th appearance for the Hatters should be play any part. Both were in the Hatters XI that lost on penalties to Wimbledon in the 2011 Play-Off final at the City of Manchester Stadium.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Town could be without defender Scott Cuthbert who is nursing an ankle knock. He was due to return from a one-match ban for his red card at Notts County. Luke Guttridge is back in contention after overcoming a slight hamstring tweak, as is Dan Potts who has come through two lots of 90 minutes of the development squad in the past fortnight. Nathan Doyle, Paul Benson and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu are all doubts. Doyle and Benson both featured for the dev squad this week but aren’t likely to be risked this weekend.
LIVE AND ONLINE. As ever, we’ll be reporting live from Kenilworth Road. Build-up starts at noon, so get on our early blog on the Wall for all the latest updates.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for photos, videos and all the behind-the-scenes action. Hatters Player subscribers will be able to listen to live commentary from just before 3pm with Simon Pitts in the press box.
Post-match, remember to check out the official website, YouTube channel and Player for reports, interviews and photographs and don’t forget to tune in from midday on Sunday for all the highlights in glorious HD!