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CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIC: WIMBLEDON 2 WIGAN ATHLETIC 4

4 July 2016

A trip down memory lane as we look at some of our classic Championship encounters ahead of our fifth season of second tier football.

  • Latics secure one of their earliest second tier wins with a 4-2 success at Wimbledon.
  • Geoff Horsfield marks Latics debut with goal.
  • Wimbledon’s last game at Selhurst Park before their relocation to Milton Keynes.

13 SEPTEMBER 2003

WIMBLEDON 2
Agyemang 34
McAnuff 48

WIGAN ATHLETIC 4
Bullard 21
Liddell 29
Horsfield 33
Ellington 55

THE SITUATION

It was early in our first season in second tier football and Paul Jewell had got his side well settled with three consecutive league wins following our opening day loss at Millwall and home draw with local rivals Preston North End a week later.

Jewell’s side were fourth in the table after they had won 3-0 at Rotherham United ahead of the September international break and they returned with a trip to the capital to face Wimbledon in what was likely to be the Dons’ last game at Selhurst Park ahead of relocation to the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes.

Having won on the opening day of the season at home to Crewe Alexandra, Stuart Murdoch’s Wimbledon were severely affected by the off-field issues surrounding their move to Milton Keynes and had contrived to lose four consecutive league games ahead of Latics’ visit, meaning they sat just one place above the drop zone.

THE TEAMS

Neil Roberts was replaced in the side by loan signing Geoff Horsfield in the only change from the 3-0 win at Rotherham a fortnight earlier whilst Tony Dinning was replaced on the bench by Leighton Baines.

Latics: Filan, Eaden, Kennedy, Jarrett (Mitchell 50), Jackson, Breckin, Liddell, Bullard, Ellington (Burchill 80), Horsfield, McCulloch.
Subs not used: Walsh, Baines, Teale.

The Dons made two changes from a 3-0 home defeat to Reading last time out as Peter Hawkins and Jermaine Darlington dropped out to be replaced by Lionel Morgan and Darren Holloway.

Wimbledon: Banks, Gier, Holloway, Chorley (Kamara), Reo-Coker, Nowland, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Tapp (Jarrett 61), Agyemang (Holdsworth 73), Morgan.
Subs not used: Heald, McDonald.

NOTABLE OPPONENTS

The player who arguably had the most success from the Wimbledon side that day was midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker who went on to represent West Ham United, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League before playing in the MLS in the last couple of years.



Nigel Reo-Coker in action during his time with Aston Villa against then Chelsea forward Florent Malouda.

Elsewhere both Jobi McAnuff and Mikele Leigertwood went on to have good careers in the game, both having good spells with Reading amongst other clubs.

Wimbledon’s opening scorer Patrick Agyemang left Wimbledon following this campaign after six years with the club and went on to play over 100 league games for Preston North End and just shy of a century for QPR before spells with Stevenage and Portsmouth.

Striker Dean Holdsworth, who was in his second spell with the Dons, is now chief executive of Bolton Wanderers after leading a consortium to purchase the League One club earlier this year.

REPORT

Latics heaped the misery on struggling Wimbledon as goals from Jimmy Bullard, Andy Liddell, debutant Geoff Horsfield and Nathan Ellington helped Paul Jewell’s side extend their unbeaten run to five games and handed a sixth consecutive defeat to Stuart Murdoch’s Dons in what was their last game at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Agyemang and Joel McAnuff replied for the hosts but it was not enough for a winning send-off from Selhurst before the move to Milton Keynes.

Latics went ahead in the 21st minute against the run of play as Bullard lashed home a superb volley from 20 yards after a half-hearted clearance dropped sweetly for him.

Ellington and Bullard both went close for the visitors and it was no surprise when the Latics doubled their advantage after 29 minutes as the impressive Horsfield laid the ball back to Liddell and he drilled home past a helpless Steve Banks.

Moments later it was 3-0 when Horsfield muscled in to head home Bullard's corner.

Wimbledon replied when Agyemang rounded John Filan and rolled the ball into the net.

The Dons grabbed another goal back after the interval when Agyemang ran from his own penalty area and glided past two Latics players before laying the ball off for McAnuff to rifle home.

Peter Kennedy then forced a great save from Banks before Ellington restored Wigan's two-goal advantage. The Duke headed home his fourth goal in four games when he met Bullard's cross.

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