An Unwanted Obligation

Match preview MK vs AFC Wimbledon 7th September 2019..

Every time we face MK Dons, I can’t help but think back to May 28, 2002. The day the FA sanctioned the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes.

The move crushed me. However, before they had even played a ‘home’ match in their new town, supporters of Wimbledon had set up a new non-league club to continue their south west London legacy in the lower reaches of the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon was born.

The FA famously stated that our formation was ‘not in the wider interests of football’. Those words fanned the flames, motivating us to succeed, and feelings have run high ever since.

As AFC Wimbledon climbed the ladder of success, the inevitability of the two clubs meeting finally manifested in a tense and vitriolic cup tie in Milton Keynes in 2012.

Victory went to the home team on that occasion. But a few years on, AFC Wimbledon rose above MK Dons for the very first time in the league, helped by a stunning 2-0 midweek victory in their first-ever league meeting in south west London. Everything clicked on the night. It was pure magic.

AFC-Wimbledon-v-Milton-Keynes-Dons-Sky-Bet-League-One

“Where were you when you were us?” That is what we sing to them whenever we meet. It is barely relevant anymore, though. In fact, if you had set out to find ‘us’ amongst them at their first ‘home’ game in 2003 you would be an investigative genius. Wimbledon supporters stayed home and still reel from their use of the nickname ‘The Dons’.

Our start to the season has not been good but form is pretty much out the window for this. The real Dons are visiting Bucks again. But to us, this match is not even a derby, it is an unwanted obligation. A grudge match.

More importantly, though, it is an opportunity to get that elusive first win of the season.

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