Marcus Braddock looks ahead to this weekends Sky Bet League One trip to AFC Wimbledon
After an eleven-day enforced abstention from competitive football, Town fans should be champing at the bit at the prospect of any sort of game. We travel to that London to play the Dons of Wimbledon who have been having a bit of a torrid time since the season started with no wins in any competition. It's an odd quirk of football that a team like Wimbledon can score 50% more goals than us in League One but still, find themselves a good few positions lower with six fewer points. Those sorts of numbers probably underline the importance of a good defence and we need only look at the 12 goals they've conceded in seven games to see why they've yet to win. Having said all of that, they've yet to be hammered and they have held a clean sheet this season, and that was at home to unbeaten Wycombe. They've also scored in every game they've played so far apart from the previously mentioned draw at Wycombe. So although they've not started too well, it's clear that they have serious threats that could cause us problems this weekend.
Last seasons top Scorer Joe Piggot got himself off the mark against Rotherham on the opening Saturday of the season but has yet to add to it in the seven games since then. Kwasi Appiah has chipped in a couple of goals, making him Wimbledon's current top scorer, he also received a yellow card during both the games he's scored in but not in any of his other appearances so far this season. One of the Dons most recent transfers seemed to pay off immediately when Marcus Forss joined on loan from Brentford and scored in his first game against Milton Keynes.
During the close season, Wally Downes added to his defensive options by bringing in Gillingham defender Luke O'Neill, Rochdale loan defender Ryan Delaney and Nesta Guinness-Walker from Metropolitan Police. Both Guinness Walker and O'Neill have been on the score sheet with the latter scoring twice, one in League One and the other in the EFL Cup. There were also midfield additions with Callum Reilly joining 25-year-old Luke O'Neill from Gillingham being the most noticeable., having played every game so far this season.
Head to Head
We've played this particular incarnation of Wimbledon ten times since the first came into being. Town have won 50% of those games with the Dons winning just once and the rest ending in draws. The one win for the Dons also saw them score three times, more than we've ever scored against them. Our best win against them was a 2-0 win at Montgomery Waters Meadow in 2015 with goals from Scott Vernon and Liam Lawrence.
Graham Salisbury from Lancashire. Games this season: 5. Yellow cards: 17. Red cards: 0.
Wally Downes has said that he has "no qualms" about using his three new loan signings Marcus Forss, Max Sanders (pictured), and Ryan Delaney their home debut.
Sam Ricketts has welcomed the return of Ro-Shaun Williams and Ollie Norburn but has also mentioned that they won't be rushed back before they are completely ready.
Wimbledon will be without midfielder Simon Wordsworth but do have new loan players to use if need be. We have our influential duo of Ollie Norburn and Ro-Shaun Williams back in training and also have Jason Cummings and Callum Lang available for the first time after arriving from Notts Forest and Wigan respectively.
I've been looking forward to this one and not just because we haven't played in a while. I'm looking forward to seeing Jason Cummings and Callum Lang. That's not to say they will definitely both be in the first team, Sam Ricketts has given himself plenty of options and I'm not sure that Sam Ricketts will blood both in the same team at the same time. We also have a couple of returning players in Ollie Norburn and Ro-Shaun Williams. Again, given the manager's comments, I wouldn't bet that all four will be starting in the same team this weekend. Result wise, I can see Wimbledon giving everything they have to get that first win on the board and with new additions, they may be a slightly unknown quantity. My heart says we will win this one but my head tells me that a draw would be a decent result against a potential banana skin.