Tag Archives: keynes

Red Bull told Mark Webber to cut power "more than Sebastian Vettel"

Red Bull told Webber to cut power 'more than Vettel' in Malaysia

By
Malcolm Folley

PUBLISHED:

19:51 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:51 GMT, 30 March 2013

Red Bull have admitted that world
champion Sebastian Vettel was not told to cut his engine power to the
same level as Mark Webber at the end of last weekend's Malaysian Grand
Prix.

But the team insist they had not
favoured Vettel above his Australian team-mate or that they were happy
to see the German ignore orders and snatch victory from Webber.

In the aftermath of the furore over
Vettel's behaviour, it was claimed Webber, with the German running
behind him, had been told to turn down his engine setting to ensure he
did not experience a mechanical mishap.

Falling out: Mark Webber (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Malaysia

Falling out: Mark Webber (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Malaysia

It was presumed Vettel had received the same instruction on the orders of team principal Christian Horner.

But F1 rights holder Bernie Ecclestone told The Mail on Sunday last week: 'After speaking with Christian, it seems Mark was told to turn down the wick on his engine, but the team didn't tell Sebastian to do the same thing.'

And a Red Bull spokesperson admitted: 'Seb's engine was turned down, but not as much as Mark's due to differing strategies and tyre wear.'

Although Horner told Vettel to stay behind Webber, the German had more horsepower to overtake.

Different instructions: Bernie Ecclestone (inset) says Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were given different orders

Different instructions: Bernie Ecclestone (inset) says Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were given different orders

Webber maintained a low profile last week, with no desire to have any contact with Vettel before they meet for the next race in China in 10 days' time, while the German 25-year-old triple world champion was on a charm offensive at Red Bull's HQ in Milton Keynes in midweek to apologise to the workforce for creating worldwide uproar.

Webber's sense of betrayal, after helping to clinch the past three constructors' titles, means he is unlikely to stay with Red Bull when his contract ends this year.

His presence alongside Vettel in the first official media conference in Shanghai a week on Thursday will ensure Red Bull's internecine warfare is the only story in town.

Golden boy: Sebastian Vettel talks with Red Bull principal Christian Horner (right)

Golden boy: Sebastian Vettel talks with Red Bull principal Christian Horner (right)

'It can only be a distraction and energy-sapping,' said a team insider.

Yet, as Ecclestone revealed in this paper last week, Webber would have lost his seat to Lewis Hamilton this season had Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz not offered the Australian first refusal on keeping his drive out of loyalty when the 36-year-old had been talking with Ferrari.

'I wouldn't say that Mark was an out and out, 100 per cent Red Bull guy when he was looking to leave the team,' said Ecclestone. 'If he'd have got the drive with Ferrari, he'd have gone. He was lucky to stay, in my opinion.'

Indeed, Webber is not blameless. In the past, he has shown an unwillingness to toe the line, most recently in Brazil as Vettel clinched his third title.

'There's never been any trust between Webber and Vettel, they're not bosom buddies,' added Ecclestone.

Martin Samuel: Why Milton Keynes Dons methods could make us play like Brazil

Small is beautiful at Milton Keynes… and it could make us play like Brazil

Victory Shield. Seyi Ojo went to Liverpool at 14 for a reported 1.5million. They must be doing something right. What they are doing, it seems, is evolving ideas. Micciche experiments with pitch sizes, with team numbers.

Not in any conventional way. Small areas, small teams, is the modern concept, and that alone is progress.

The days of a 10-year-old standing forlornly in the same size goal as Petr Cech, barely able to clear his penalty area with a goal-kick in ankle-deep mud, are thankfully over.

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

The Football Association has, at last, addressed the in-built flaws in youth football and we should feel the benefits over the next 10 years.

The popular wisdom favours small-sided games in tight spaces. The logic is irrefutable. Players get more touches, more shots, more runs and more scoring opportunities playing four versus four than 11 versus 11.

Their ball skills are improved by
technical five-a-sides, rather than a war of attrition on a man’s size
pitch that promotes only the most athletically dominant.

What Micciche is attempting is stage
two. In the dome at Woughton Park worlds collide. Micciche has his
Under 16 MK Dons team playing 11-a-side, but on a reduced pitch 60
yards long by 40 wide. He has cones on the touchline marking two
invisible offside lines to compress play into the middle third. There is
no time, there is no space. To survive in this game, you really have to
be able to play.

Coaching guru: Micciche's ideas have seen MK Dons' academy flourish

Coaching guru: Micciche's ideas have seen MK Dons' academy flourish

An MK Dons kid is trapped on the near
touchline, ball at his feet, two lads bearing down on him. He gets out
of it with a lovely reverse pass.

‘You see, that, to me, is a goal,’ Micciche says. ‘At this age, you can swing your boot and the ball goes in, and everyone says “well done”. But it’s not necessarily progress, there’s no development. To see him do that, inside, I feel like we’ve scored, because he wouldn’t have tried it six months ago.’

Micciche, as his name suggests, grew up watching Serie A football on a giant satellite dish at home. Roberto Baggio was his man. He is not as steeped in the blood and thunder of English football as his contemporaries.

It is no surprise, either, that he started at Crystal Palace where John Cartwright was academy manager.

Cartwright, now retired, has been
advocating variations of games played in tight spaces for a long time.
From Palace, Micciche moved to Tottenham Hotspur working with Chris
Ramsey before arriving at Milton Keynes under director of youth Mike
Dove, who gave him a blank canvas.

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There are five pitches of varying sizes at Woughton Park and academy players of all ages get to use every one. Team numbers vary, too. Each player gets a turn training and playing with boys between one and three years older, and all have a homework file with a list of improvements. The most radical thoughts, however, involve space.

‘A lot of coaches don’t like limiting the space,’ admits Micciche. ‘They think it looks messy. Sometimes it does because we’re asking a lot technically. You might not always get quality, but when you do it is the highest quality.

‘And when they go out onto a full-size pitch again, it feels as if they have got all the time in the world.’
We watched a game together. Milton Keynes Dons versus Forest School. Pitch dimensions of 60 x 40 yards, two quarters nine-a-side, two quarters 11-a-side to feel the difference.

Players who looked competent when the team numbers were reduced were suddenly tested as room on the pitch shrank. There was a surprising impact physically.

‘It speeds the game up, but players then need to hold off defenders because they haven’t the space to simply outrun them,’ Micciche explains. ‘Also, in order to work through a compact space, they will need to move their feet and body quickly.

‘The intensity is great so they need to react and think faster. It becomes exhausting, but it makes them clever at finding space.’

A shot rattles against a crossbar.

‘The game has shifted,’ Micciche continues. ‘Nobody gets the ball in splendid isolation any more. It’s like rush hour in midfield, you might get 20 players in 40 yards of space, and the defenders are as fast and athletic as the forwards.

‘We need to recreate what these players are going to face in the future.’

The last time Brazil visited England, in
2007, the performance of Kaka in the heart of the play stood out. No
matter how many opponents surrounded him, he demanded the ball and his
team-mates were happy to provide it. He always found a pass. Spain and
Barcelona have that same quality.

Star man: Kaka was outstanding for Brazil at Wembley in 2007

Star man: Kaka was outstanding for Brazil at Wembley in 2007

‘We fail under pressure,’ Micciche adds. ‘That is a fundamental problem in English football. Once the game becomes tight, our approach lets us down.’

The first time Micciche tried out his theories, the opponents were a big Championship club. ‘It was an Under 12 game, a friendly, and I brought the dimensions of the pitch in, used smaller goals,’ he recalls. ‘We were 4-1 down at half-time and a couple of our kids were in tears.

‘I said that this type of football was going to ask different questions of them, that they had to think about how they would answer those questions.

‘We turned it around, and won in the second half. The next day they put in a complaint about us.’

Perhaps that is why as well as the standard league fixtures — MK Dons win some and lose some, like all academy teams — Micciche is happy to accept fixtures from stronger clubs, strong schools or even good men’s amateur teams.

Quick thinking: Micciche advocates playing on pitches of different sizes to help youngsters develop

Quick thinking: Micciche advocates playing on pitches of different sizes to help youngsters develop

‘It is important to play in as many
types of football as possible, with and against players of different
strengths and abilities,’ he says. ‘You need to challenge them all the
time. Sometimes we won’t have as many players on the field as the
opposition, or I’ll take my Under 16s to play a proper men’s team.
People say, “you can’t do that” but they learn from it.’

It is possible that, after tonight, it will again be said that English footballers are inferior. That the technique of the Brazilians is a class away.

There will be analysis and much you will have heard before.

Too many foreign players in the Premier League, an absence of passion for international football. We could tuck it away in a file marked: The Usual.

So explain this. Increasingly, there are foreign coaches who have passed through the English game, like Gus Poyet at Brighton and Hove Albion or Roberto Martinez at Wigan Athletic.

Pointing the way: Roberto Martinez has brought fluid, passing football to Swansea and Wigan

Pointing the way: Roberto Martinez has brought fluid, passing football to Swansea and Wigan

And their teams play. Martinez is the father of modern Swansea City, Poyet has taken Brighton to the brink of the Championship play-off places.

Neither developed teams in the lower leagues that were stuffed full of foreign imports. They took local players and improved them technically.

Martinez signed Ashley Williams from Stockport County. Will Buckley, one of Brighton’s leading lights, came from Rochdale via Watford.

Martinez and Poyet encouraged bog standard Football League players to play a high quality game. So why can’t this be done in international football, with players of twice the ability No doubt we’ll be asking those questions later.

Although if we did it earlier, the answers might be easier to find.

Hypocrisy rules for forgetful Joey

Joey Barton was sent off for Marseille at the weekend and took to his favourite medium to voice his displeasure. ‘Players who roll around when nobody touches them should be banned,’ he wrote. ‘I hate cheats.’ Gervinho of Arsenal, sent off after Barton play-acted, may have views on this subject. And if he can stop laughing he will surely give them to us.

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) ... just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) … just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011 (below)

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) ... just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011 (below)

Sturridge highlights our problem with diving

On television and in just about every newspaper, Daniel Sturridge was the man of the match after Liverpool’s draw with Manchester City. And he did have an outstanding game. He also, however, committed one of the most blatant dives of the season, for which he was booked. If that had been Luis Suarez, the chorus of disapproval would have been deafening.

Instead, Sturridge collected his bottle of champagne and his printed accolades without too much fuss. So let’s not pretend we really care about cheating in football. If it mattered to us, there is no way Sturridge could have been the hero.

(And one last thing, there was also no reason for Liverpool to put the ball into touch on Edin Dzeko’s behalf on Sunday. That Sturridge scored Liverpool’s first goal while the Manchester City striker lay stricken is of no consequence. He wasn’t seriously hurt and there was no fear of head trauma. If City had won possession and wanted to put the ball out, up to them. But Liverpool had every right to play to the whistle, and Roberto Mancini’s complaints are groundless).

Booked: Sturridge looks to the floor after taking a tumble against Man City

Booked: Sturridge looks to the floor after taking a tumble against Man City

Wolves must realise they're in a dogfight

As Wolverhampton Wanderers plummeted towards the Championship last season, chief executive officer Jez Moxey insisted the club had the foundations in place for success. ‘This season will not create a situation where we are knocked off course from our medium to long-term objectives,’ he soothed.

Objective No 1 was to establish Wolves in the Premier League. At last look, Wolves were two points off relegation from tier two, 21st of 24. They have been passed by Ipswich Town, managed by Mick McCarthy, the manager they sacked a year ago.

On the day McCarthy took over at Portman Road, Ipswich were bottom and Wolves eighth. Still, it’s good to know the executive management have a plan. Otherwise, it would be easy to imagine they don’t know what they are doing.

Alarming slide: Wolves are just two points clear of safety in the Championship

Alarming slide: Wolves are just two points clear of safety in the Championship

Lock up Gillingham yob and put the ref on gardening leave

There is a very simple solution to the attack on Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper Jordan Archer at the Priestfield Stadium on Monday night. It’s called five years. If the punishment on the Gillingham fan who jumped Archer was appalling, nobody would ever do it again.

As for referee Roger East, who booked Archer for kicking the ball away in frustration, even though he showed admirable restraint towards the pitch invader in the aftermath, he should be given the rest of the season off to consider his actions. Anyone so out of touch with human emotion should not be in charge of anything more testing than the roses in his garden.

Attack: Jordan Archer was jumped by a teenage Gillingham 'fan'

Attack: Jordan Archer was jumped by a teenage Gillingham 'fan'

BCCI stoop to new low

Responding to the 2-1 home Test defeat, the Board of Control for Cricket in India have banned a group of English county players from gaining experience on the spinning wickets of the subcontinent. The Global Cricket School in Pune has been told that no foreign cricketers can use the facilities without permission. The performance of Joe Root in the final Test in Nagpur appears to have been the clincher. Lovely, aren’t they And yet still cricket kowtows to the BCCI.

Saracens 17 Northampton 16: Stephen Myler misses penalty with last kick

Saracens 17 Northampton 16: Myler miss is a kick in the teeth for Jim's beaten Saints

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UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 30 December 2012

Stephen Myler and Northampton were left shattered in Milton Keynes as the fly-half’s last-minute, long-range penalty to win a pulsating game hit the crossbar and bounced out, giving Saracens a dramatic reprieve.

The Saints No 10 was presented with a shot for glory from his own half, with just seconds remaining, in controversial circumstances. Saracens prop Rhys Gill was penalised by referee JP Doyle for kicking the ball away from a ruck, when replays suggested that the ball was out and he was entitled to do so.

Then, some back-chat from one of the home players prompted the official to march forward 10 metres, leaving Northampton with a penalty on the limit of kicking range.

Close call: Myler hit the crossbar with the final kick of the game

Close call: Myler hit the crossbar with the final kick of the game

Putting the boot in: Farrell

Putting the boot in: Farrell

Myler, who had already registered 11 points with the boot, took aim at the posts, some 57 metres away. He let fly and the ball soared towards the target, only to glance off the centre of the bar, allowing Brad Barritt to clear into the stands to clinch the narrow win which sees his side go into the new year second in the Aviva Premiership, one point behind champions and leaders Harlequins.

Back by the halfway line, Myler was left on his haunches, with his head in his hands. Jim Mallinder, Northampton’s director of rugby, turned and strode down the tunnel, frustrated by the agonising manner of this latest defeat against a top-four team and incensed by Doyle’s refereeing.

Afterwards, he said: ‘Should have won, could have won. If Stephen Myler had kicked that goal at the end, we’d all be in there now celebrating a great away victory.

‘To be honest, I didn’t think he could get it. I was definitely wondering if they had made the right decision but you have to leave it to the players. Stephen knows best if he has a realistic chance of kicking it or not. It was left up to him and I think he probably did make the right decision to go for it.’

In a tense final quarter, a few of Doyle’s decisions came in for close scrutiny, particularly a penalty awarded to Saracens at a ruck in the closing minutes. Ben Foden, the Saints and England full back, exploded with rage when the whistle sounded and vented his fury on the nearby touch judge. Mallinder, in slightly calmer fashion, echoed his sense of indignation.

‘The majority of the decisions early on were probably just, but the referee has got to be consistent,’ he said. ‘If he is going to penalise Dylan Hartley for going off his feet, quite rightly, then he has to do Barritt at the end of the game for the same offence. In the final 10 or 15 minutes, there was some decision-making by us which we’ll need to look at, and we’ll look at a couple of the referee’s decisions as well, because they can be the difference between winning and losing close games like that. He got a number of those decisions wrong today.’

For the first quarter of this game, it merely appeared a question of how many points Saracens would win by against their bitter rivals, whose supporters dominated the large festive crowd. The nomadic Hertfordshire club immediately appeared at home in a stadium where their opponents have staged matches in the past, and were ahead in the seventh minute.

Try time: Phil Dowson crossed for Northampton

Try time: Phil Dowson crossed for Northampton

From an attacking line-out on the left, George Kruis took a clean catch and the Saracens pack drove forward with great conviction, on and on over the line until John Smit touched down. Charlie Hodgson missed the conversion, but he was on target with an 11th-minute penalty and his side continued to dominate proceedings on the back of clear superiority in the scrum.

Yet, that set-piece advantage gradually faded as the Saints forwards rallied and in the 24th minute the visitors hit back.

From a scrum near halfway, Ken Pisi broke clear on the right, Courtney Lawes stormed on and when quick ball was delivered to Phil Dowson, the flanker burst through three tackles to score a try which Myler converted to make it 11-7.

Saracens retaliated with gusto to this renewed challenge and after David Strettle so nearly went clean through the middle in the Northampton 22, Will Fraser and Ernst Joubert drove strongly at the line but the ball went loose, Samu Manoa pounced on it and eventually a clearance kick by Lee Dickson alleviated the sustained pressure.

Cast adrift: Northampton are eight points behind Saracens

Cast adrift: Northampton are eight points behind Saracens

Moments later, the scrum-half’s dart forward brought a penalty to the Saints which Myler struck to narrow the deficit to one point at the break. After half-time, the visitors’ No 10 maintained his assured goal-kicking to establish a 16-11 lead for his team, while Hodgson missed three successive shots at the other end. Owen Farrell, who had replaced Joel Tomkins at outside centre, took over kicking duties and calmly dispatched two successive penalties to push Saracens in front again and they clung on with a little help from the crossbar which denied Myler.

Mark McCall, Sarries’ director of rugby, was relieved by the outcome of that last-gasp kick, saying: ‘I felt the same as everyone else felt. It was out of our hands. We knew it was a very difficult kick. It was an unbelievable strike in fairness. He had his kicking boots on today, so we are grateful to have come away with a narrow victory.’

In a measured reaction to Doyle’s officiating, McCall added: ‘There are always going to be things that you are not happy about. There was some frustration in our side from time to time and I am surprised they (Northampton) feel as strongly as they do about it.’

This defeat for the Saints leaves them sixth in the Premiership table but Mallinder remained bullish about their prospects of mounting a convincing title challenge. ‘We know we’re a good side and today proved that,’ he said.

‘There’s not a lot between the top teams and although we’re now mid-table, we’re not out of the running, by any means. There are a few people who have written us off already but there’s a long way to go. We won’t give up, we’ll be back.’

Karl Robinson attacked with pint glass after MK Dons lost to Brentford

MK Dons manager Robinson attacked with pint glass after Brentford defeat

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UPDATED:

00:43 GMT, 12 December 2012

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was ‘shaken’ after being attacked with a glass by a group of Brentford fans following his side’s defeat at Griffin Park this weekend.

Robinson was walking to the team bus when the group of around 20 supporters threatened and set upon the 32-year-old manager.

Stewards had to step in to stop the incident escalating further, and Brentford are now working with the police to catch the gang with the use of CCTV footage.

Shaken: MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

Shaken: MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

The shocking attack was one of a number of incidents this weekend which have blemished the reputation of the sport.

Robinson was attacked on Saturday, less than 24 hours before ugly scenes overshadowed Manchester United’s derby win at City.

Rio Ferdinand was struck by a missile thrown from the crowd after Robin van Persie scored the winner, which left a nasty cut above his left eye, before a fan ran onto the pitch.

Sebastien Bassong was also allegedly racially abused during Norwich’s victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Although no charges have been brought for the incident involving Robinson, Brentford have asked the police to attend a meeting at the club on Wednesday, according to the Mirror.

Jubilant: Robinson guided the Dons to victory over AFC Wimbledon

Jubilant: Robinson guided the Dons to victory over AFC Wimbledon

Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin told the paper: ‘There was a minor incident when Karl Robinson was leaving Griffin Park on Saturday to get on to the Milton Keynes Dons’ team coach.

‘There was beer thrown towards him. The Brentford FC stewards and security staff dealt with the incident swiftly and professionally at the time.

‘We are currently working with the Metropolitan Police to review all the CCTV and video footage from Saturday’s match.’

MK Dons 1 AFC Wimbledon 1: match report

MK Dons 2 AFC Wimbledon 1: Ecstasy to agony for travelling fans as cheeky late winner ends dream grudge match victory

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UPDATED:

15:17 GMT, 2 December 2012

Jon Otsemobor scored a last-gasp winner to send MK Dons into the FA Cup third round at the expense of bitter rivals AFC Wimbledon.

Jack Midson's diving header had looked set to earn Wimbledon a replay after cancelling out Stephen Gleeson's stunning opener, but Otsemobor flicked home in the last minute to break the visitors' hearts.

The match was the first between the two clubs since 1988 FA Cup winners Wimbledon FC were uprooted from south west London in 2003 and moved over 50 miles north of the capital to the Buckinghamshire town, before being renamed MK Dons the following year.

Stranded: Jon Otsemobor flicked home the winner for MK Dons in the dying minutes

Stranded: Jon Otsemobor flicked home the winner for MK Dons in the dying minutes

Match facts

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Chadwick, Balanta (Ismail 66), Lowe (Smith 80).

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Doumbe, MacDonald, Chicksen, Sekajja.

Goal: Midson 59, Otsemobor 90

AFC Wimbledon: Sullivan, Osano, Fenlon, Antwi, Mambo, Luke Moore (Johnson 81), Gregory, Long, Ajala, Harrison (Strutton 71), Midson.

Subs not used: Jaimez-Ruiz, Balkestein, Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Djilali.

Booked: Midson, L Moore, Ajala.

Goal: Gleeson 45.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

Angry Wimbledon FC fans subsequently formed AFC Wimbledon from scratch in the Combined Counties League before enjoying a rapid rise up the football pyramid, and are now just one division below npower League One promotion challengers MK Dons.

The bad blood between the clubs was in evidence throughout, with both sets of fans goading the other, but in the main the match passed off without incident, save for a brief pitch invasion following Wimbledon's equaliser.

The hosts controlled the first half but they struggled to create clear chances in the face of a disciplined Wimbledon rearguard action.

Angelo Balanta came close when he curled the ball just wide of the post after a neat turn on the edge of the box before Gleeson broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, blasting a 30-yard shot into the top-right corner.

MK Dons burst out of the blocks after the break and skipper Dean Lewington had a 25-yard free-kick pushed over the crossbar by Neil Sullivan before Balanta and Dean Bowditch both lashed strikes into the side-netting.

Mobbed: MK Dons celebrate their last-gasp winner which dumped AFC Wimbledon out of the FA Cup

Mobbed: MK Dons celebrate their last-gasp winner which dumped AFC Wimbledon out of the FA Cup


In front: Stephen Gleeson opened the scoring for MK Dons with a stunning strike

In front: Stephen Gleeson opened the scoring for MK Dons with a stunning strike

Happy days: Gleeson celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal

Happy days: Gleeson celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal

But Midson made the most of a rare
Wimbledon counter-attack to equalise after 59 minutes, glancing a fine
diving header past David Martin from Toby Ajaya's cross.

A number of Wimbledon fans spilled onto the pitch following the goal, but stewards quickly restored order.

In a frantic finale, Ryan Lowe had a
goal ruled out for offside for Milton Keynes and Wimbledon skipper
Steven Gregory was denied by Martin before Otsemobor hung out a leg to
backheel substitute Zeli Ismail's mis-hit shot over Sullivan to spark
wild scenes of celebration for the hosts.

Level pegging: Jack Midson equalised for AFC Wimbledon (above) before celebrating with team-mates and fans

Level pegging: Jack Midson equalised for AFC Wimbledon (above) before celebrating with team-mates and fans

Players and fans celebrate as Jack Midson of AFC Wimbledon scores their first goal

Players and fans celebrate as Jack Midson of AFC Wimbledon scores their first goal

Crunch: Ryan Lowe of MK Dons is tackled by AFC Wimbledon's Luke Moore

Crunch: Ryan Lowe of MK Dons is tackled by AFC Wimbledon's Luke Moore

On the run: AFC Wimbledon's Stacy Long (right) sets up another attack for the visitors

On the run: AFC Wimbledon's Stacy Long (right) sets up another attack for the visitors

Battle: Luke Chadwick (right) and Steve Gregory fight for possession at stadium:mk

Battle: Luke Chadwick (right) and Steve Gregory fight for possession at stadium:mk

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons – fans clash

We are Wimbledon! Fans stake claim for 'real Dons' tag during FA Cup grudge match

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UPDATED:

13:39 GMT, 2 December 2012

As the MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon battled it out on the field in their FA Cup grudge match, both sets of fans did likewise in the stands.

The two sides met for the first time at stadium:mk, nine years after Wimbledon moved 54 miles to Milton Keynes and 10 years after AFC Wimbledon were formed.

The build-up to the clash surrounded the fight over who can lay claim to the achievements of the original 'Dons' and that trend continued on Sunday afternoon.

Clash: Both AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons claim to be the true heirs to the original Wimbledon side

Clash: Both AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons claim to be the true heirs to the original Wimbledon side

MK Dons

Despite threatening to boycott the match, AFC Wimbledon fans packed into the stadium although the promised radiation suits looked to be absent.

The visiting fans want MK Dons to drop the second part of their name but their supporters made it clear they have no intention of ceding to that request.

Making a point: A banner was flown over the stadium in support of AFC Wimbledon

Making a point: A banner was flown over the stadium in support of AFC Wimbledon

Up in arms: AFC Wimbledon fans made their feelings towards their hosts clear

Up in arms: AFC Wimbledon fans made their feelings towards their hosts clear

AFC Wimbledon fans hand out stickers

Hitting back: MK Dons fans responded to the jibes from the visiting fans

Hitting back: MK Dons fans responded to the jibes from the visiting fans

Milton Keynes Dons fans hold up a banner that reads' 'We're Keeping the Dons... Just Get Over It!'

MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon FA Cup live

FA CUP LIVE: MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon – the action as it happens from stadium:mk

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UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 2 December 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup second round as bitter rivals MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon meet for the first time. Karl Robinson's MK Dons side are flying high in third place in League One and will go into the match as favourites against Neal Ardley's side, who are struggling near the foot of League Two.

MK Dons 1 AFC Wimbledon 1

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Chadwick, Balanta (Ismail 66), Lowe (Smith 80).

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Doumbe, MacDonald, Chicksen, Sekajja.

Goal: Midson 59.

AFC Wimbledon: Sullivan, Osano, Fenlon, Antwi, Mambo, Luke Moore (Johnson 81), Gregory, Long, Ajala, Harrison (Strutton 71), Midson.

Subs not used: Jaimez-Ruiz, Balkestein, Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Djilali.

Booked: Midson, L Moore.

Goal: Gleeson 45.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

80 mins: Ryan Lowe is the man to make way for Smith. Wimbledon are growing in confidence though with Ajala enjoy some joy down the right flank.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk: 'MK Dons preparing to send on the former England striker Alan Smith.'

77 mins: As things stand then we're all set for a replay. One thing that is for sure is that the second half has been a far better spectacle than the first.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk: 'Interested to see the impact of MK teenager Zeli Ismail, on loan from Wolves. There’s been a lot of hype about him, born in Albania and playing for England youth teams. He came on and set up a goal for Ryan Lowe to convert but the flag was up for offside.'

70 mins: MK Dons have a goal ruled out as Zeli Ismail is rightly flagged offside as he centres for Ryan Lowe to tap in.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk: 'That’s caused a stir. A diving header from Midson levels and AFC fans fail to control their euphoria. Some of them spill onto the pitch to celebrate with the players as the home fans boo and whistle. Midson is booked for his role in inciting the invasion as AFC fans find their voices again. Yellow and blue balloons are bouncing in the away end again and it is still very chilly here.'

GOAL!!! MK Dons 1 AFC Wimbledon 1 (Midson)

Can you believe it! And right in front of home fans… A neat little move started by Midson sees the big forward brilliantly glance home a header from Agala's cross and the travelling support go wild… and there's a pitch invasion! There's a delay in play as the stewards try to deal with it. Midson sensibly tries to calm the away fans down.

Strength in numbers: Over 3,000 Wimbledon fans made the trip to MK Dons

Strength in numbers: Over 3,000 Wimbledon fans made the trip to MK Dons

57 mins: I'm afraid to see say you can really see why Wimbledon have struggled in League Two this season. They have offered very little other than hard work and graft.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk: 'MK firmly in command at the start of the second half. Sullivan’s goal under attack from Lewington, Balanta and Bowditch. Home crowd sing: “You’re getting beat by a franchise” … and the temperature has dropped alarmingly.'

51 mins: Chance! Balanta's attempted cross deflects off Mambo and nearly beats Sullivan at the near post.

47 mins: Close! Lewington's dinked free-kick nearly finds the top corner as the veteran Sullivan laboriously tips the ball over the bar.

Screamer: Gleeson celebrates his wonderstrike

Screamer: Gleeson celebrates his wonderstrike

46 mins: We're back under way…

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk: 'Test for the AFC spirit now. Wonderful strike from Gleeson. Out of place with the rest of the half. Plenty in the stadium:mk were queuing up for a cuppa when it flew in to the top corner.'

HALF-TIME: Just as it looked as though Wimbledon would be heading into the break level, a rare moment of magic in an otherwise turgid game has given the advantage to Karl Robinson's side. The atmosphere inside the stadium:mk is absolutely rocking now with both sets of fans in full voice. Wimbledon will have to come out of their shell in the second half if they are to get at least a replay from this though as they have offered nothing going forward so far.

GOAL!!! MK Dons 1 (Gleeson) AFC Wimbledon 0

What a strike! Gleeson spanks one from 30 yards that rises and swerves into the top corner leaving Sullivan with absolutely no chance.

Grudge match: Captains Steven Gregory (left) and Dean Lewington shake hands before the game

Grudge match: Captains Steven Gregory (left) and Dean Lewington shake hands before the game

42 mins: Yado Mambo rises highest to clear a dangerous free-kick from Chadwick. The big centre half has been outstanding so far for the visitors.

38 mins: The game has not been the best so far, though it was always going to be a sideshow to the battle of the fans… which is still going strong.

32 mins: Route one stuff from Wimbledon so far, in keeping with their tradition. /12/02/article-2241756-1650ACE9000005DC-752_634x422.jpg” width=”634″ height=”422″ alt=”Standing firm: MK Dons fans display a banner for the Wimbledon supporters to read” class=”blkBorder” />

Standing firm: MK Dons fans display a banner for the Wimbledon supporters to read

22 mins: Luke Chadwick is really pulling the strings here for MK Dons. The former Man United man is a top player at this level.

18 mins: Close! MK Dons winger Angelo Balanta bends one just wide of Sullivan's left-hand post from 20 yards out.

17 mins: MK Dons have dominated possession and look very comfortable on the ball. Wimbledon are holding firm though.

13 mins: David Martin does well to come out of his box and thwart /12/02/article-2241756-1650A3F0000005DC-973_634x421.jpg” width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”Protest: Wimbledon fans express their dislike of MK Dons owner Pete Winkelman” class=”blkBorder” />

Protest: Wimbledon fans express their dislike of MK Dons owner Pete Winkelman

9 mins: A chartered plane has just flown over the stadium reading, 'we are Wimbledon'.

7 mins: Sullivan saves at the near post from Otsemobor. the 'keeper is still going strong at the age of 42.

6 mins: It's been all MK Dons so far, but Wimbledon are winning the battle of the fans.

3 mins: Dean Lewington sends the game's first shot high and wide into AFC Wimbledon supporters behind the goal, who greet the effort with ironic cheers.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow at stadium:mk writes: 'They're playing Welcome to the Jungle. Its not exactly Istanbul, but there's a lively atmosphere and a few taunts knocking about. AFC fans holding “We are Wimbledon” banners. MK fans have a banner saying: “We're keeping the Dons… Just get over it” and another saying “AFC Hypocrites”.'

1 min: We're under way… Both sets of fans are belting out songs.

Die-hard: An AFC Wimbledon fan turns up with a mask

Die-hard: An AFC Wimbledon fan turns up with a mask

12.29pm: The players are out on the pitch and the atmosphere is very, very tense. here we go…

12.15pm: Back to on-field matters and the teams are in. MK Dons will start as strong favourites and they have picked a first-choice starting XI for this one, including the selection of captain and left back Dean Lewington, who came through the ranks at Wimbledon FC. For AFC, veteran former Wimbledon FC goalkeeper Neil Sullivan has been granted clearance to play.

12.10pm: I am sure most of you are aware of the significance of this fixture but for those of you who are not, here is a brief history lesson for you… Wimbledon FC – winners of the 1988 FA Cup – were relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003, by which time AFC Wimbledon had already been formed (in 2002) in protest against the proposed move. As AFC worked their way up through the non-league pyramid, Wimbledon FC were renamed MK Dons in 2004 and have continued to ply their trade in the lowest two tiers of the Football League. AFC Wimbledon were promoted to the Football League for the first time back in May 2011 and the club are now just one division apart, but today's FA Cup tie will be the first time the two sides have met each other.

12.00pm: Good morning everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the season so far as MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon meet for the first time.

Grudge match: The two sides meet for the first time

Grudge match: The two sides meet for the first time

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons – an inflammable cup tie

Danger! AFC Wimbledon's trip to MK Dons is an inflammable cup tie and could ignite a crazy atmosphere

|

UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 30 November 2012

There is a buzzword going around AFC Wimbledon’s training ground in south-west London and everyone is saying it.

'It’s important that I don’t inflame this,' says Neal Ardley, the man who played more than 300 games for Wimbledon FC and now manages their spiritual successor.

He goes on to promise he will never take a job at Milton Keynes Dons, regardless of the money offered.

Careful: AFC Wimbledon manager Neil Ardley is one of many who don't want to 'inflame' the situation

Careful: AFC Wimbledon manager Neil Ardley is one of many who don't want to 'inflame' the situation

'I don’t want to inflame passions beyond where they already are for Sunday,' adds Erik Samuelson, the AFC chief executive who has been at the club since the day in 2002 when they were formed.

He says he will not shake the hand of Pete Winkelman, the chairman of 'sordid' MK Dons.

'I’ve been told I shouldn’t inflame anything,' explains the club’s commercial director, Ivor Heller, one of AFC’s founder members.

He describes MK Dons as both a ‘boil that needs lancing’ and ‘rotten, rotten, rotten’, and insists he will not spend any money if he can help it at stadiummk.

And there is talk of the secret banner he is preparing to unveil.

‘We have to tone things down in the build-up,’ added Heller. ‘Obviously, I’d like to say what we really think, but I mustn’t inflame things.’

MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon. FA Cup second round. The two sides meet on Sunday for the first time and it promises to be fiery.

Toned down: Ivor Heller says he can't say what he wants to

Toned down: Ivor Heller says he can't say what he wants to

Jack Midson is currently playing for his 14th club, but this one, he says, is ‘special’. When he joined in June 2011, one month after a fifth promotion in nine seasons launched AFC into League Two, he was told to sit down with the other new arrivals and listen to a history lesson.

‘It’s no secret that it is a sticky subject,’ said Midson. ‘This club is unique and we all know it from the start.’

Samuelson elaborates: ‘We do it every pre-season. It’s about making sure they understand where we came from, why we came from there, certain standards of behaviour expected and, if we are ever drawn against Milton Keynes, making sure they speak to us about what to say before talking to the press. We started planning a long time ago for playing them.’

The bare facts of what happened are well known. In September 2003, Winkelman, with the permission of the FA, relocated debt-ridden Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes.

/11/30/article-2241196-16460E80000005DC-143_634x403.jpg” width=”634″ height=”403″ alt=”No man's land: This little FA Cup replica lies in Morden Library, rather than with either of the clubs” class=”blkBorder” />

No man's land: This little FA Cup replica lies in Morden Library, rather than with either of the clubs

SO, WHY IS IT IN THE LIBRARY

Click here to find out

AFC — ‘A Fans’ Club’ — started in the Combined Counties Premier League, the ninth tier of English football, and picked most of their first ever team from the 230 people who turned up for trials at Wimbledon Common on June 29, 2002.

What has followed has been one of the most heart-warming stories in sport, as the phoenix club, of which 75 per cent is owned by fans, stormed through the divisions with big crowds, reaching the Football League in 2011. Their progress is eerily similar to Wimbledon’s in the Seventies and Eighties.

‘This is a remarkable club,’ said Ardley. ‘We got a train home from Morecambe on Saturday and there were a load of Millwall fans.

‘I had a season there so we got talking. The brilliant part is when you hear Millwall fans saying what a brilliant club they think this is. You’d think they’d hate anyone local to them. We feel like there are a lot of people who want us to do well.’

Wimbledon FC, meanwhile, were renamed as Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Some call them ‘Franchise FC’, others are less flattering. Samuelson reckons ‘only a handful, maybe 20’ of the Wimbledon FC fans who initially followed their team up the M1 continue to do so.

‘Over the years there has been a visible trickle of people who started there and came back,’ he said.

Snub: Chief executive Erik Samuelson and Co will not use using the MK Dons hospitality

Snub: Chief executive Erik Samuelson and Co will not use using the MK Dons hospitality

Winkelman has laid out his defence this week, claiming the club would have gone bust without his input and, somewhat provocatively, asking why AFC supporters didn’t buy the club when it was in administration.

In return, some AFC fans are expected to attend in radiation suits, claiming MK Dons are contaminated. Others say they won’t buy anything beyond a ticket as they don’t wish to hand over their money; many are boycotting the game altogether.

Ardley, who went to AFC’s first home game against Chipstead in the Combined Counties League in 2002, talks of how members of his coaching staff try to rile him by ‘saying I played 300-odd game for Milton Keynes’.

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson says his staff were told by AFC they couldn’t come to Kings-meadow on scouting missions.

Samuelson, for his part, will join the rest of the board by sitting among the fans and snubbing MK Dons’ hospitality. ‘Over the last nine years a lot of fans of other clubs have not gone to watch Milton Keynes because of what they feel was a wrong. So for us to say, “We’ll pop in, shake hands and have a prawn sandwich” would be a bit disrespectful to them.’

For all the hurt they struggle to conceal, the stated desire to ‘not inflame things’ is genuine.

Protest: Some AFC Wimbledon fans will wear radiation suits like this because MK Dons are 'contaminated'

Protest: Some AFC Wimbledon fans will wear radiation suits like this because MK Dons are 'contaminated'

‘We have reminded the fans how important it is we continue to represent ourselves in the best possible way, how easy it is to lose a reputation,’ said Samuelson. ‘We want to demonstrate to the world we are responsible and will be mature and dignified about this game.’

At some point on Sunday, a game will break out. MK Dons are piping hot favourites, having played some superb football this season under a promising young manager in Robinson. They are third in League One and have not lost in eight games.

‘They are exceptional,’ said Ardley. ‘The football they’ve been playing is the kind of football I’ve been trying to get played since I worked at academy level.’

Ardley is expecting a decent turnout from former Dons. ‘Stewart Castledine and Gareth Ainsworth will be there — maybe a few others, too,’ he said. He hopes on-loan Neil Sullivan will be cleared by Doncaster to play in goal.

His own prospects are not so great. AFC are one place above the League Two relegation zone and most at the club agree that next weekend’s ‘six-pointer’ against Barnet is the big one.

But there is no denying the magnitude of this match. It’s football’s youngest but most legitimate rivalry — and the result will not end the issue.

‘For me, it ends when they drop the Dons from their name,’ said Heller. Samuelson added: ‘There are two views on their continuing to use the name Dons. One is that it is an insult, the other that it is a reminder of their sordid origins.’

The touch paper has been lit.

AFC Wimbledon should bury hatchet with MK Dons, say Crazy Gang members

It's time to bury the hatchet with MK… so long as they ditch the 'Dons', say original Crazy Gang ahead of grudge match

|

UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 29 November 2012

It may have been 24 years ago but when the FA Cup comes around, it still stirs passionate emotions among the most famous football mavericks of them all – the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon who shocked the then mighty Liverpool to lift the famous old trophy at Wembley in 1988.

And those passions are no less fiery due to the nature of this weekend’s second round games that pit the reborn AFC Wimbledon against the hated club they call the franchise robbers who stole their birthright – MK Dons.

It was when the original Wimbledon, founder members of the Premier League, died and their League place in the fourth tier was snapped up by the Milton Keynes outfit, headed by opportunist chairman Pete Winkelman, that a vow was taken to restore the old club.

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

So successful has that been that AFC have climbed all the way back from the Combined Counties League and back into the Football League – and now have the draw that the game would lick their lips over – though AFC fans have warned they won’t set foot in the place that forced them to start all over again on a park pitch.

But the old Dons heroes, the REAL Dons, who won that FA Cup, believe it is time to bury the hatchet with MK – as long as Winkelman agrees to drop the Dons from their name and renames them City, Town, United or some other.

Goalkeeper Dave Beasant, who comes only behind FA Cup Final scorer Lawrie Sanchez in the pantheon of Wimbledon legends by saving a penalty on the great day, led the call last night to call a truce.

Beasant said: ‘There is a lot of bitterness from AFC fans that Wimbledon lost their League status. They think that MK didn’t go about it the right way, when they should have only gained a place in the League by qualifying through non-league football.

‘You understand the bitterness but it’s been done, it was a while and the position isn’t going to be changed. And MK Dons are a progressive team, having gained promotion to League Three, just as AFC have progressed into the League proper.

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge in the Final

‘I know a lot of fans won’t forget about it. But this is now a Cup match, the two teams are meeting for the first time. And AFC getting there from where they started is what Wimbledon’s history is all about.

‘We were never a big club but got a big name through winning the FA Cup. It’s a game that will be talked about because of the way MK attained their League status on the back of Wimbledon losing theirs.

FA Cup Final 1988 – Match Facts

Wimbledon: Dave Beasant (c); Clive Goodyear, Eric Young, Andy Thorn, Terry Phelan; Alan Cork (Laurie Cunningham 56), Vinnie Jones, Lawrie Sanchez, Dennis Wise; John Fashanu, Terry Gibson (John Scales 63)

Manager: Bobby Gould

Goals: Sanchez 37

Liverpool: Bruce Grobbelaar; Steve Nicol, Gary Gillespie, Alan Hansen (c), Gary Ablett; Ray Houghton, Nigel Spackman (Jan Mlby 74), Steve McMahon, John Barnes; Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge (Craig Johnston 64)

Manager: Kenny Dalglish

‘Of course I have more of a feeling for AFC because they represent the foundations that Wimbledon came from. I don’t know how many fans went with MK or how many stayed. I know a few did and one or two became directors.

‘But I do feel they should stand on their own two feet now as Milton Keynes – forget calling themselves Dons.’

Beasant, now a part-time coach with Bristol Rovers and previously Glenn Hoddle’s academy in Spain until it finished, added: ‘If they would drop the Dons from their name, I do feel that would go some way to appeasing Wimbledon’s current fans.’

In looking back to those great days of the Crazy Gang, Beasant says: ’We weren’t given the credit we deserved as individual players because of the way we played. But look how many of us did move on to bigger clubs after the Cup triumph – myself, the likes of John Fashanu, Dennis Wise and Vinnie Jones.’

Yet through the mists of time he sees one man as the original Crazy Gang founder – current West Ham coach Wally Downes. Beasant explained: ‘He was the original before myself and Alan Cork joined in. Then the likes of Fash, Wisey and Vinny became associate members.’

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

Injury prevented Downes from sharing in the FA Cup glory but he was there from the start as an apprentice Crazy Gangster.

Another who came through that route was Cup Finalist Andy Thorn, up until recently the Coventry manager before his heroic struggle to keep them from being relegated to Division One gave out.

Thorn, who is now eager to get back into the managerial fray after settling compensation, remembers the kind of stunt the Gang were famous for. He said: ‘We used to go everywhere in this minibus, lads all piled in the back, feet up on the kit like a bunch of schoolboys. That was the way we went to White Hart Lane to play our FA Cup semi-final against Luton.

‘It was a minibus I remembered well after my first experience of the senior team, a trip to Leyton Orient when I was probably 13th man.

VIDEO: Dean Holdsworth's FA Cup memories

‘After we won, I was ordered to get to the nearest off licence in Leyton High St to get the beers in. I duly brought armfuls of cans back, handed them over, upon which the back doors were slammed in my face and they roared off leaving me stranded in the middle of the high street!

‘So I was left to get a couple of buses and trains back home on my own.

‘But it was all part of the growing up, the toughening up. We don’t go out of our way to see each other these days but it’s as though we’ve never been away when we do bump into each other. It seems we’re all following the same pattern of life, a few divorces, and we’re all moving on.

‘On the big game, I regard them as two
completely separate clubs now. But with Wimbledon, the way we battled
from where we came from to get as far as founder members of the Premier
League, what we had to overcome, the supporters of the new AFC have done
exactly the same thing. It epitomises what Wimbledon are all about.’

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Cup Final winning manager Bobby Gould regards himself as an honorary Crazy Gang member and recalls hilarious times. Gould, who now has a regular show on Talksport, said: ‘I originally joined Wimbledon as a player after the sack from Chelsea as a coach in 1981 when I answered an advert from then manager Dave Bassett for a centre forward. It was 40 a week and 20 expenses.

‘When I was manager the one who was always up to something was Dennis Wise. I could never take my eyes off him.

‘The players used to have what was known as The Circle when a dispute needed settling. They would form a circle and the two players who had a problem with each other would have a grapple, like wrestling – but no punching or biting!

‘After a few days there, Wisey shouted: ‘’Circle’’. I said: ‘’Who’s in it’’ He said: ‘’You are Gouldy, you’ve upset me’’. So I couldn’t back down,

‘We started to fight and all of a sudden I land on his fist and crack a rib. I had the physio Steve Allan in and said: ‘’Get me up the stairs to the dressing room before I faint because at the moment I’m winning’!

‘But I had fought Wisey in the circle. We laughed and we never stopped. But the beauty of them was they knew when they wanted to do the job and went about it the right way.’

VIDEO: We are Wimbledon

Gould will be supporting AFC this weekend, though admits: ‘I started off supporting MK in the early days, simply because I wanted Wimbledon to survive in some form or other. But once AFC came on the scene, starting up from a Sunday kickabout, my allegiance changed to them.

‘On the day I’ll be wearing my lucky tracksuit that I wore the day we won the FA Cup. I agree with Dave Beasant that now MK should do the decent thing and drop the Dons part of their name. Why not be City, United or whatever. They don’t need it, they’ve handed back all the trophies so they recognise that Wimbledon are the true Dons.’

Alan Cork, who can proudly claim that he played for Wimbledon in every division of the old Football League, sadly does not connect with AFC as much as some of the others. He said: ‘I don’t have a club to go back to in Wimbledon like I can with Sheffield United, because it’s not the same one I played for. I know a lot of the boys do associate with AFC but as far as any dispute with MK Dons is concerned I don’t have a serious view.’

Cork, formerly a No 2 for Gary Megson at Bolton and now a part-time scout for Stuart Pearce’s England Under 21s, added: ‘MK have an excellent stadium and a thriving club. The cup tie I won’t be supporting either, as my loyalties now are to Southampton where my son Jack plays and is doing very well.

‘It’s hard to get to watch him because I am normally at another game. I was recently at Italy v. Spain Under 21s for Stuart. Italy are in our group in the championship finals next summer. Spain have got quite some side….’

Different Dons with differing views but the old boys will all have memories of great past deeds this weekend.

VIDEO: The best FA Cup second-round shocks

MK Dons scouts told to stay away from AFC Wimbledon ground

You're not welcome! MK Dons scouts told to stay away from Wimbledon ground ahead of grudge match

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UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 28 November 2012

Warning: MK Dons manager Robinson

Warning: MK Dons manager Robinson

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has revealed that his scouts were asked by AFC Wimbledon not to attend fixtures at the phoenix club's Kingsmeadow home as the two sides prepare to meet for the first time in the FA Cup second round on Sunday.

AFC Wimbledon were formed from the ashes of Wimbledon FC in 2002 as the latter were relocated to Milton Keynes before eventually changing their name to MK Dons in 2004.

AFC have worked their way through the non-league pyramid and were promoted to the Football League for the first time this year.

But Robinson has only been able to scout his side's League Two opponents away from home after being advised to stay away from Kingsmeadow.

'They asked us not to [go],' Robinson told the Football League Podcast.

Flying high: MK Dons are currently sitting in third place in League One

Flying high: MK Dons are currently sitting in third place in League One

'That's what we've got to respect. They played at Morecambe at the weekend and [scout] Alex Rae went down. We've watched DVDs and everything else and we've tried to do our job.

'We're a professional football club and we've got to rise above any negativity. I'm sure AFC Wimbledon want to do the same.'

The AFC Wimbledon board have turned down an invitation into League One MK Dons' boardroom at the stadium:mk on Sunday in order to sit with the clubs fans.

Phoenix club: AFC Wimbledon won promotion to League Two last season

Phoenix club: AFC Wimbledon won promotion to League Two last season

Phoenix club: AFC Wimbledon won promotion to League Two last season

But Robinson hopes Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley will share a drink with him after what promises to be an emotional game.

'I'm looking forward to going up against him on Sunday and hopefully we can have a drink after the game like every other manager does,' he said.

'If it was at their place I'd love to go and shake his hand even if we lost.

'Mick Harford [MK Dons assistant manager and former team-mate of Ardley's] speaks very highly of him as a person. He's Wimbledon through and through.'