Football: Wimbledon fight an uphill battle

Wimbledon. . . . 2

Leicester City. .1

IT WAS more surprising to see Wimbledon start with 11 men than finish with 10. Another of the old guard had gone, more are due to follow; the Crazy Gang were arguing among themselves, and a whiff of mutiny was in the air. We wondered whether they had a team to put out when up popped Vinnie Jones brandishing fists to remind us that nothing had changed.

Dismissed 35 minutes into his first game as captain, Jones had a drink afterwards with Graham Poll, as did Warren Barton, one of six to be booked. It made the point that, along with both managers, neither player thought the official was incorrect with his card-waving.

Vinnie the violent had to walk for swapping punches with David Lowe as push came to shove and then worse in the penalty area. 'I wore my heart on my sleeve today and it got us the result we needed,' Jones said somewhat illogically. He will be fined by Joe Kinnear and reminded that when Wimbledon talk about scrapping their way out of another crisis they mean with their heads and not their hands.

Brian Carey, the third player to see red, was less fortunate, but these days the law does not differentiate between a bad tackle and one that is only badly mistimed. If the effect is to send the other player tumbling, as happened to Dean Holdsworth on two occasions, then off you must go.

Jones will remain as the Wimbledon skipper because, frankly, they have run out of candidates. Holdsworth has reaffirmed his desire to leave and his performance underlined why Kinnear is right to restrain his ambition, even though Mick Harford was the more productive in securing a first win for his 10th club. He scored the equaliser and set up the winner with a low cross.

Kinnear joked that it is fortunate Harford has no pace or he would be forced to sell him for pounds 5m. As other managers were showing off their new pounds 3m-plus purchases, he had to delve deep to find pounds 200,000 for Alan Reeves, a centre-back from Rochdale who, with his shock of blond hair, at least looks the part of John Scales' replacement.

Leicester, meanwhile, bear the look of boys cast adrift in a man's world; Jim Willis' own goal was the worst example of rank defending that, even at this early stage, promises to leave only three relegation places to be fought for.

Goals: Lowe (26) 0-1; Harford (29) 1-1; Willis og (45) 2-1.

Wimbledon (4-4-2): Segers; Barton, Fitzgerald, Reeves, Kimble; Ardley, Jones, Elkins (Fear, 78), Gayle; Harford, Holdsworth (Clarke, 90). Substitute not used: Sullivan (gk).

Leicester (4-4-2): Poole; Grayson, Willis, Carey, Lewis (Agnew, 61); Carr (Joachim, 73), Draper, Blake, Philpott; Roberts, Lowe. Substitute not used: Ward (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Tilehurst).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Foundation Phase Teacher required

£90 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Exciting opputunities availabl...

Learning Support Assistant

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Learning Support Assistant - Newport

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz