Since their formation in 2002 AFC Wimbledon have come a long way, gaining promotion in five of their nine seasons culminating in their promotion to The Football League at the end of the 2010/11 season.
This FA Cup first round match against Scunthorpe United gives Terry Brown’s side the chance to progress in the competition the original Wimbledon won back in 1988.
Scunthorpe, who have a somewhat longer history than their opponents on Saturday, are currently experiencing fluctuating form in League One that has seen them win only three of their 17 league matches so far. The Iron manager Alan Knill has been reliant on Bobby Grant for goals, but even his current return of eight in all competitions has not been enough to ignite their season. Scunthorpe can be backed to win this one at 11/8 (Ladbrokes – £50 free betting).
AFC Wimbledon might be a division below Scunthorpe, but the home advantage makes the odds of 21/10 (Coral – £30 free bets) look very good value. Not having posted a win for over a month could cause concern for Brown, but they showed in the Blue Square Premier play-off final against Luton at the end of last season they can rise to the big occasion. And that’s just what we think they’ll do again on Saturday.
Having said that, they will certainly need to raise their game from the passionless draw against second-bottom Barnet last Saturday if they are going to mix it with Scunthorpe. But we fancy them to keep things tight early on and grown into the game as the visitors become increasingly desperate. As such, backing the draw at half time and AFC Wimbledon to come through by the final whistle looks like a fine bet at a best priced 13/2 (William Hill).
Whether AFC Wimbledon will ever emulate the original Crazy Gang of the 1980s and 90s remains to be seen, but we’ve got the feeling they will be particularly up for making it through to the second round, maybe with one eye on drawing a certain MK Dons.