Preview: AFC Wimbledon v Coventry City


The Dons take on Coventry City in the 1st round of the FA Cup


By Michael Stafford-Jones

Wimbledon will always have strong links to the FA Cup after their historic giant-killing success in the 1988 final.

In that historic game, Wimbledon FC beat a world-class Liverpool side 1-0 courtesy of Lawrie Sanchez’s 2nd-minute goal and Dave Beasant’s 62nd-minute penalty save.

Tonight’s FA Cup 1st Round game pits AFC Wimbledon against another team with FA Cup heritage – Coventry City. In the 1987 Final Coventry upset the odds by beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 after extra-time. It was the first time Tottenham had lost an FA Cup Final.

AFC Wimbledon Manager Neal Ardley was in determined mood after the draw was made, and said that a cup run would provide a massive boost to the players and the club’s finances.

 “We will be big underdogs, but the positive for us is that we will be at home and it is the FA Cup. We have to do it justice,” he said.

AFC Wimbledon’s Scottish playmaker Peter Sweeney said that playing in the FA Cup is a great opportunity for players to show what they can do.

“The FA Cup provides a chance for players to prove they are good enough to be on the same pitch as those at a higher level,” he said.

“Every season there are a few upsets in the competition and hopefully we can pull one off.”

Coventry City Manager Steven Pressley said his teams have been watching videos of AFC Wimbledon in action this week to make sure they are prepared.

“We have been able to point out some key aspects of their play and the players should be prepared to face the Dons,” said Pressley. “They work their set-plays very well and have some very good loan players.”

Dons’ Fans will be hoping that loanees Michael Smith (on loan from Charlton) and George Porter (from Burnley) continue to shine tonight, the former being the club’s top scorer this season.

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