AFC Wimbledon Reach Football League After Play-Off Win
In one of the biggest fairy-tale stories of recent years – perhaps only topped by Leicester’s Premier League win – AFC Wimbledon have finally managed to reach the third tier of English football. They were only formed in 2002, when a bunch of disgruntled Wimbledon fans rebelled after Wimbledon announced their move to Milton Keynes, and have grabbed six promotions since that time.
AFC Wimbledon’s promotion doesn’t just mean that they’ll be playing in the third tier, but also raises an incredibly mouth-watering prospect – the will get to play MK Dons (the new name of Wimbledon) twice over the course of the season. Will AFC Wimbledon be able to continue their meteoric rise though, and surpass their more illustrious neighbours? Next season could also see AFC Wimbledon return to play football in Merton, however talks are still ongoing surrounding this.
The play-off final was played against Plymouth Argyle, and the 57,956 fans of both teams didn’t have much to talk about during the first half. The game was lit up in the second half though, thanks to a goal from AFC Wimbledon’s Lyle Taylor, who was many people’s choice for man of the match. The biggest moment of the game came in injury time, as AFC Wimbledon doubled their lead, and guaranteed themselves a place in League One…
Jordon Foster was the player to commit a foul in the box and, after a heated discussion with Callum Kennedy, Abebayo Akinfenwa was the man to score from the spot. A fan favourite, particularly known for his immense strength, Akinfenwa was released from the club minutes after the final whistle, bringing an end to his exciting careers with AFC Wimbledon. He used his post-match interview to advertise himself to other managers though, and shouldn’t find many problems getting a place at another team next season.
When the final whistle sounded, there was elation in the stands for AFC Wimbledon supporters, as their club continued its meteoric rise up the English league system. Of course, this joy was mirrored by the dejected Argyle fans though, who have seen their side fall from grace in recent seasons. They now face having to watch their team in the fourth tier once again – just a few years after they were challenging for promotion to the Premier League.
AFC Wimbledon’s win means that all of the play-offs are now complete, and the face of each of the top leagues for next season is now known. Hull came through the Championship play-off and progress to the Premier League; Barnsley defeated Millwall in the League One play-off; as already seen, AFC Wimbledon were victorious in the League Tow play-off; and it was Grimsby who won the National League play-off.
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