By Chris Wright
After 120 minutes of goalless toil, AFC Wimbledon beat Luton Town on penalties in the Blue Square Premier League play-off final at Eastlands to secure themselves Football League status for next season – an astounding feat once you factor in that the club were only formed as a non-league outfit nine short years ago in protest over the FA’s decision to dissolve the original Wimbledon and replace them with ‘Franchise FC’ 80 miles up the M1 in Milton Keynes.
Yesterday’s victory over Luton makes it five promotions in eight years for the Dons, who started off life in the Combined Counties League in 2002 (they even counted So Solid Crew’s MC Harvey amongst their squad at one point) and now find themselves just one more promotion away from playing in the same division as MK Dons – the mind boggles.
A fairytale story if ever there was one. Pies’ hearty congrats go out to everyone involved with the club – including chairman Erik Samuelson, who apparently still only takes a £1 annual salary.
Brett Johnson goes in hard on Luton’s Jason Walker
Danny Kedwell and Keith Keane battle for an aerial ball
Keith Keane beats Luke Moore to the ball
A Womble mascot is proudly held aloft by a AFC Wimbledon supporter
AFC Wimbledon ‘keeper Seb Brown (an England C international) saves Alex Lawless’ penalty…
…then celebrates accordingly
Luton players watch on as AFC Wimbledon’s Danny Kedwell scores the decisive penalty
Terry and Seb Brown celebrate after the final whistle
AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown celebrates with the supporters
AFC Wimbledon celebrate their promotion to the Football League