Match Of The Week – AFC Wimbledon 3-0 St Albans City

In the morning came the doubts and the what ifs. What if half-time comes and Hampton are five up at Maidenhead? However unlikely it seemed, there was no mathematical certainty to Wimbledon’s promotion into the BSP until five o’clock but, back in the real world, everyone knows that the game is already up. On a bright, sunny spring afternoon, they come to see the coronation, and they come – not for the first time this season – in extraordinary numbers. The crowd is an all-ticket 4,722 and tickets had sold out several days ago. Take a moment to consider that. The regional sixth division of English football, almost 5,000 people (had Kingsmeadow been able to hold more people, it would have been higher) have turned out. Extraordinary, by any standards, and a testament to the pulling power of this remarkable football club and the strength in depth of English football. St Albans City are the foils for this, and they play the part to perfection. Although the championship is not mathematically certain, they still form a guard of honour for Wimbledon as the team takes to the pitch and then, after showing some resistance in the first half, eventually roll over and allowed their bellies to be tickled. The exception to this rule is the Saints’ goalkeeper Paul Bastock. The best goalkeeper that I have seen at Clarence Park...

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