Day: May 21, 2011

The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Luton Town 0-0 AFC Wimbledon (3-4 Pens)

So it all comes down to ninety minutes. There can, at least, be little debate that this year’s Blue Square Premier play-off final is being played between the two best teams left in the competition, following Crawley Town’s testosterone-fuelled championship win but, as we pan across the banks of empty seats at Eastlands this afternoon, it is difficult not to reflect upon the wisdom of the decision to host the showpiece of this league here – although we are talking here about ticket prices and specifically not about the decision to play the match in Manchester – and wonder what a spectacle the match might have been had it been played in London. The decision was made, however, and we are where we are. It’s also worth pointing out that, while the crowd of 19,000 is clearly a disappointment for this match, it’s worth remembering the fact that even describing it thus is a remarkable comment upon the strength in depth of English football. This, let us not forget, is a match in the fifth division of English football. Both clubs are here this afternoon seeking to take steps towards wronging a right and, while the story of what happened to Wimbledon FC is a well-trodden path, it occasionally feels as if what happened to Luton Town has not received the attention that it deserves. To be clear, the...

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Unexpected Faces Head The Dutch Top Scorers List

Ajax may won the Eredivisie this season, but the traditional powerhouses of Dutch football were frozen out in the top goalscorers list where, as Luke Edwards explains, the names at the top came from somewhat unexpected sources. Normally, if you were to take a glance at the top scorers in the Eredivisie you would expect see representatives from the big three of Ajax, PSV or Feyernoord. Not, however, this season. This season, strikers from the mid-table teams in Holland have come to the fore, indeed the first name in the scoring charts to come from one of the traditional giants of Dutch football is Balázs Dzsudzsák from PSV, in joint fourth place on sixteen goals and only he and his PSV team-mate Ola Toivonen make so much as the top ten of Dutch goalscorers from these institutions. This seems like an extraordinary achievement, so here is a little more about the three players that made up the gold, solver and bronze positions at the top of the Eredivisie top goalscorers list. In third place is Mads Junker from Roda JC. In finishing the season with twenty goals, the thirty year-old Danish international fell one short of his tally from last season. Junker joined Roda JC from Vitesse Arnham, where he had been in and out of the side without fully establishing himself in the team, which may be reason...

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From The Video Archive: Luton Town vs Wimbledon, 1988

AFC Wimbledon play Luton Town in the Blue Square Premier play-off final in Manchester this afternoon and, setting aside concerns about the ticketing arrangements for a moment, there is a definite sense of headiness in the air this morning as supporters of the two clubs head north for the match. For both clubs, there is an obvious sense of injustice that they find themselves in this particular division in the first place. We all know what happened to Wimbledon FC, of course, and that Luton Town were essentially relegated as the result of a punitive point deduction awarded on the basis of the actions of people that had already left the club at the time of the award means that a flame also burns within their supporters, as well. If we rewind the clock by twenty-three years, though, we can see that Wimbledon and Luton Town have been here before. During the 1987/88 season the two clubs had mid-table teams in the First Division and they played each other in the semi-final of the FA Cup that year at White Hart Lane. Wimbledon had beaten West Bromwich Albion, Mansfield Town, Newcastle United and Watford to get there, while Luton Town had beaten Hartlepool United, Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth to get that far. In the other semi-final, Liverpool were playing Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. We are thrilled –...

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