AFC Wimbledon Plough Lane stadium

First face off in League Two for AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United

AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United will face each other in their first meeting in the English Football League this Saturday.

Separated by a five mile distance and slight difference in postcodes, Wimbledon and Sutton have never played each other in League Two before.

The two clubs share a rich history, with AFC Wimbledon’s first game after their formation being against Sutton in a 4-1 loss, plus several match-ups in non-league and cup football.

Sutton currently sit at 15th in League Two, two points above Wimbledon in 17th, with a win for the Dons allowing them to leap-frog them in the table.

Long-term AFC Wimbledon supporter Ray Armfield said: “Sutton will always have a place in our history.

“As we haven’t met in a league game since 1964, there’s no pent up animosity.

“The bragging rights are up for grabs but winning would be a very much needed three points first and foremost.”

Despite experiencing considerable success since their formation, AFC Wimbledon have struggled in recent seasons to maintain their excellent form, being relegated from League One last year and only winning three games so far this season.

Comparatively, Sutton have enjoyed an incredible rise to professional football, finishing eighth in their first year of League Two in the 2021/22 season and have maintained a decent run this year, taking them above the Dons for the first time in their history.

The game will take place at Wimbledon’s Cherry Red Records Stadium, which celebrates its second anniversary on the 2 November.

Since leaving the original Plough Lane stadium in 1991, it has always been a aim for AFC Wimbledon to return to a location that has previously seen considerable triumph over the history of the club.

Armfield, a volunteer tour guide around the new stadium, said: “Personally, the stadium means everything to me.

“Since we left Plough Lane the club has been absent from their home town for a generation and the benefits our presence has bought has been immense.”

Despite AFC Wimbledon’s poor form and last year’s relegation, their attendances have risen 74% since moving from their previous ground in Kingsmeadow.

Armfield said: “There is only one reason for the increase in attendance: Plough Lane.”

With important points available, there is no doubt the game on Saturday will surely be exciting and carry a tense atmosphere.

While there may be no animosity present between the sides, the game may be an opportunity for the beginning of a rivalry that will carry over into the rest of the season and, hopefully for both teams, beyond.

Featured image credit: Steve Daniels @Geograph (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Remlin Kram
Remlin Kram
12 October 2022 9:22 pm

Man like Ray Armfield

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