'Fan power' lifts Dons into League Two
Monday 23 May 2011
AFC Wimbledon won promotion to the Football League on Saturday after beating Luton Town in the Conference play-off final. Wimbledon won 4-3 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes at Eastlands, sending them into League Two.
The club was established in 2002 in protest against the FA's sanctioning of the original Wimbledon's move to Milton Keynes, and manager Terry Brown described it as a "phenomenal achievement". The winning penalty was scored by Wimbledon's top scorer Danny Kedwell, after Seb Brown had saved from Luton's Alex Lawless and Jason Walker. The match itself was lively and even; Kedwell earlier had a goal disallowed for offside.
Winning the shoot-out earned Wimbledon their fifth promotion in nine seasons. They started life in 2002 in the Combined Counties League, and went through the Isthmian First Division and Premier Division before reaching the Conference South in 2008, which they won at their first attempt. This was their second season in the Blue Square Premier. They finished second and beat Fleetwood Town in the play-off semi-final.
"It's a phenomenal achievement to do it in nine years," said Brown afterwards. "A club could possibly do it quicker with finance – but we have had no finance, just fan power. I can't make any decisions without going through the directors and the trust. They keep driving this club, which has always punched above its weight.
"We have never tried to emulate the Crazy Gang, but there is such a driving force at the club."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
Liverpool's 2005 Champions League-winning side: From Jerzy Dudek to Vladimir Smicer - where are they now?
Jack Wilshere's final-day strike wins Match of the Day's Goal of the Season award after Arsenal fans hijack vote
Jurgen Klopp favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool if he's sacked
Young Preston fan has play-off hero Jermaine Beckford's shirt stolen from him at Wembley - which then appears for sale on Gumtree
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people