We look ahead to Saturday's League Two encounterAFC WIMBLEDON v GILLINGHAM
npower League Two
Saturday October 27 2012
Cherry Red Records Stadium
Manager Martin Allen admitted that his squad had a few knocks but everyone would be assessed after training this morning [Friday].
For the Dons, stand-in skipper Sammy Moore (knee) missed the midweek victory over Bristol Rovers but his replacement, ex-Gill Rashid Yussuff, scored in the game.
Mat Mitchel-King and Callum McNaughton have both returned to full training this week but boss Neal Ardley remains without Dale Bennett and Pim Balkestein who are expected to be available in the next few weeks.
THEIR SEASON SO FAR…
The Dons currently lie 21st in the League Two table having picked up 14 points (three wins and two draws) from their 14 games.
At the Cherry Red Records Stadium they have won twice, including the 3-1 midweek victory over Bristol Rovers, drawn once and lost four times.
Earlier this month new manager Neal Ardley, the former Wimbledon and Watford midfielder, was named to replace long serving Terry Brown who sacked in September. The win against the Pirates was the first under his guidance.
An own goal, a curling effort from ex-Gill Rashid Yussuff and a Will Antwi effort put the home side three-up with just 33 minutes on the clock before Tom Eaves pulled one back for Rovers who had Tom Parkes dismissed late on.
They opened the season with a 1-0 win over Chesterfield at home but then conceded 11 times in the next two fixtures, 6-2 at Burton and 5-1 at Bradford.
A home draw with Dagenham & Redbridge was followed by defeats against Northampton (0-2), Rochdale (1-2) and Torquay (0-1) before getting back to winning ways with a 1-0 triumph at Wycombe.
Their mixed bag of results has continued since, defeats against Accrington at home and Oxford away, a win at Plymouth, another home reverse - this time to Cheltenham, then came a draw at Fleetwood prior to the midweek win.
In both cup competitions thus far, AFC Wimbledon fell at the opening stage. Stevenage beat them 3-1 in the Capital One Cup at Broadhall Way while Southend were the victors in the Johnstone Paints Trophy.
Deon Burton’s excellent finish at Plainmoor took his tally for the season to five but former Don, Danny Kedwell, leads the way with ten for the Gills.
Amongst the other 13 who have registered this season are Myles Weston (4), Chris Whelpdale (3), while both Joe Martin and Jack Payne have two.
Club record signing Byron Harrison, who joined from Stevenage in January, is currently top of the Dons scoring chart with six goals, next in line are Jack Midson, Sammy Moore and Rashid Yussuf who have all netted two apiece.
The 2011-12 campaign was of course the first as a Football League outfit for AFC Wimbledon.
They may have finished but they did enjoy doing the ‘double’ over the Gills. On a boiling hot day in October the Dons struck three times in the opening 22 minutes through Christian Jolley (2) and Jack Midson.
Charlie Lee replied for Gillingham in the 67th minute but it proved to be too little too late at Kingsmeadow.
The return at MEMS Priestfield Stadium in January saw a seven-goal thriller but one just the visiting fans would have enjoyed.
Gillingham were two-up, through Gavin Tomlin and Jo Kuffour, and 3-1 ahead thanks to a second from Tomlin before the visitors hit back to win 4-3, their goals coming through Luke Moore, Garry Richards (own goal) and a late Midson double.
Referee: Chris Sarginson
Assistant referee’s: Guy Stretton & Edward Smart
Fourth official: Ian Fissenden
The Staffordshire official has taken charge of eight games previously this season and has issued two red and 22 yellow cards.
This will be the fourth time that he has refereed a Gillingham fixture, the last was the visit of Aldershot Town in January 2012 when Danny Jackman netted in a 1-0 victory.