Mag­i­cal Mid­son’s the hero as Dons sur­vive

WIM­BLE­DON ..2 FLEET­WOOD ..1 DONS’ GREAT ES­CAPE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Sam El­liott

IT WAS the ice-veins of a Wim­ble­don idol from the penalty spot that took the club into the Football League two years ago at the City of Manch­ester Sta­dium.

So how fit­ting then that a pres­sure kick from 12 yards from his re­place­ment Jack Mid­son kept the club there.

Danny Ked­well back in 2011 wrote him­self into the his­tory books in the Blue Square Bet pro­mo­tion fi­nal against Lu­ton to right a football wrong.

It only took nine years, they sing. It only took nine months, and th­ese ugly 90 min­utes, to nearly undo it all.

Hav­ing thrown away Gary Alexan­der's opener, the Dons were head­ing back to Non­League af­ter a lack of fo­cus let Andy Man­gan nod Fleet­wood level via a home defender.

A point not enough, it sucked the wind out of Wim­ble­don sails.

But they got a big break, right-back Cur­tis Osano tum­bling un­der the chal­lenge of Rob Atkin­son for the fans’ favourite’s mo­ment.

Two years ago it was step for­ward King Ked­well. This time, Mar­vel­lous Mid­son. A £500,000 kick dis­patched.

Those watch­ing on wait­ing for Wim­ble­don to sink were to be dis­ap­pointed. The old dogs still have life left in them yet, their story an­other chap­ter to be writ­ten.

Mid­son said:“Clearly it was a big kick – fi­nan­cially to the club and for the play­ers too. We’re not the high­est paid in League Two but I knew I had to take it and I had to score it.

“Ev­ery­one re­mem­bers Danny’s win­ning penalty and this was a great feel­ing. The fans sing a song about us both, I’d like to think this one could mean as much.

“Wim­ble­don have worked so hard to get into the Football League and to drop out would have been dev­as­tat­ing. It was writ­ten in the script for us to stay up.”

Wim­ble­don will never do things the easy way. Seem­ingly safe a month ago, only a win would have done here and they were do­ing their best to blow it. Mid­son in the first half headed against the bar and Alexan­der on an­other day could have had the game won.

When Mid­son again hit the wood­work in the open­ing stages of the sec­ond half, ‘one of those days’ fears grew.

Alexan­der had other ideas, nod­ding in Luke Moore’s free-kick with trade­mark power to lift the roof with just over an hour gone.

Soon, Man­gan was unchecked, he headed goal­wards and a touch from a blue shirt saw the ball creep in three min­utes later. Wim­ble­don were down un­less they found a goal.

Neal Ard­ley’s side had to re­act, and when scam­per­ing Osano was up­ended they got the big­gest of breaks with 18 min­utes to go.

Cod Army man­ager Gra­ham Alexan­der said: “I don’t think the ref­eree needed much en­cour­age­ment to give that penalty. He was blow­ing up ev­ery few min­utes, I thought the crowd in­flu­enced a few de­ci­sions.”

JACK MIDSO

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