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Town Insider - AFC Wimbledon

19 October 2012

Fleetwood Town manager, Micky Mellon, will be looking to get back to winning ways at Highbury after last Saturday’s home defeat to Wycombe.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town manager, Micky Mellon, will be looking to get back to winning ways at Highbury after last Saturday’s home defeat to Wycombe. 

A first win over AFC Wimbledon would be just the response that the manager seeks in a fixture that brings back memories of Conference play-off days in 2011. Town were soundly beaten over two legs by the Dons at the end of a successful first season at Conference level but the clubs enjoy a good relationship. ‘We’ve worked hard this week,’ said Mellon,’ and are looking to bounce back positively from a disappointing result last weekend.  We know that we have the character in the dressing room to do so and we are anxious to make amends.  We never performed but it’s going to happen in a 46 game season.  We have to make sure that when it happens we knuckle down, be difficult to beat, bounce back and learn.  We have got to play with passion and desire and hope that the ability we have will come through and get us a win.’ The manager is delighted that full-back Dean Howell has made a full recovery from his ankle injury while skipper, Steve McNulty, is making good progress from a calf injury and hopes to be back within the week, allowing Rob Edwards a chance to make a second start following his loan signing from Barnsley.  Alex Marrow (calf) and Shaun Beeley (thigh) will also be unavailable while striker Andy Mangan is waiting to see the specialist after missing the last four games. The game marks a personal milestone for Town goalkeeper, Scott Davies, who will be making his 100th start in all competitions.  Mellon paid Davies a glowing tribute: ‘Scott has done really well since coming to us from Morecambe reserves and he gets missed out too often for praise.  We are widely known as big-spending Fleetwood but in fact we’ve got one of the best goalkeepers around and we got him for nothing.  Scott has worked very hard to get his level of consistency and has every chance of a good career well into the future.’ After going up via the play-offs, Wimbledon have not found life at League level easy and currently lie third from bottom of the npower League Two with ten points from twelve games.  Their disappointing form this season prompted the club to dispense of the services of manager Terry Brown after he had guided the club back into the league. Brown’s successor is former midfielder Neal Ardley who was appointed on 10th October.  Ardley has asked the Dons’ fans to be patient.  Following the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Cheltenham Town last Saturday, the new boss put his players through double training sessions this week. Two of the Don’s three victories have been achieved away from home These were at Wycombe and Plymouth but they have conceded more goals (17) than any club in the league in their six games on the road.  The main injury issues concern a quartet of defenders.  The Dons are likely to be without Dale Bennett and Mat Mitchel-King, both with back injuries, while Pim Balkestein (groin) and Callum McNaughton (knee) are also unavailable.  All missed the Cheltenham game. There are potential threats up front.  Longest-serving player, Luke Moore, scored one of the goals in the play-off leg at Highbury and told the club’s website that, despite the 8-1 aggregate score, Saturday’s game is going to be a tough encounter: ‘We battered them in the end but Saturday will be tough.  They have a lot of money behind them and good backing from their supporters.  Results have not been going for us lately.  In patches of games we have been playing better football than the other teams and we will go there with confidence that we can get a result.’ Alongside Moore is Byron Harrison who has struck six times this season, including a late consolation goal last weekend.  Manager Ardley has high hopes for the former Stevenage striker. Jim’s Sports Bar opens at 12noon for home and away supporters with hot food being served.  Holstein Vier is on offer for £2 a pint between 12noon and 2pm. Premier League action with Spurs v Chelsea gets underway at 12.45 whilst Burnley host Blackpool in the Lancashire derby following the Cod Army action.

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