Outside The Box: MK are keen to meet AFC in uncommon circumstances


Click to follow
The Independent Football

The possibility of a potentially bitter meeting in the second round of the FA Cup between MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon, the club who came into existence because the original Wimbledon had been moved up the M1 to the plastic-cow town, will be determined over the next two days.

The MK manager, Karl Robinson, has already stirred things up by saying he was "dancing round the house" at the draw. However, as was the case exactly two years ago, the tie – which AFC have never wanted – is subject to both teams winning their first-round replays. In 2010 Wimbledon won theirs by beating Ebbsfleet but the MK Dons went out on penalties to Stevenage. This time both have home advantage: AFC face York City tomorrow while MK are firm favourites to beat Cambridge City on Tuesday.

Terry's not the right guy

John Terry, one of the contenders to have an effigy burnt on the annual bonfire at Edenbridge in Kent, was spared by the greater unpopularity of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. The local committee decided that Armstrong was the worthiest candidate this year and a 30ft model of him duly went up in smoke at the weekend. Sportsmen frequently feature on the shortlist and two years ago Wayne Rooney was the fall guy – in every sense – beating the early favourite Tony Blair for what was described as his "appalling treatment of [wife] Coleen" followed by the fiasco of demanding a transfer from Manchester United and emerging with a lucrative new contract.

Pilkington's goal is 150

As David Beckham won through to another Western Championship final with LA Galaxy last week, one of his contemporaries in the Manchester United team that won the FA Youth Cup 20 years ago was still hoping for a minor milestone of his own. Notts County's goalkeeping coach, Kevin Pilkington, who last played a League game in 2009, has been registered for the first-team as cover for Bartosz Bialkowski. Pilkington, now 39, played half a dozen Premier League games for United in between loan spells at places like Rochdale, Rotherham, Port Vale and Celtic. When he first left Notts County in 2009, he had made 149 appearances for the club, and when the Magpies' manager Keith Curle was asked about the chances of Pilkington reaching the 150 landmark, he said: "I might think about bringing him on, if we're 9-0 up with two minutes to go."

Fergie's babes grow old

What of the other members of that United team? Following the retirement last year of Gary Neville and someone called "Robert Savage", Ryan Giggs is the only other one still playing at senior level (Paul Scholes did not play in the final). Ben Thornley and Chris Casper suffered bad injuries, Casper becoming the first to manage (at Bury); some, like Keith Gillespie, made a decent career elsewhere. The whole squad were offered professional contracts, which was almost unprecedented, and only two never played a first-team game for United: Savage and the right-back George Switzer, probably the least known name. Sir Alex Ferguson apparently felt he was too small and he moved on to Darlington and then Hyde United.

New strip for Everton

Where will it all end? After the Burton Albion goalkeeper featured here on 28 October who offers to model for "erotic" assignments, comes news that Everton are publishing a calendar next week in which first-team players will strip off for charity. Entitled "12 Shades of Blue", it promises to show Tim Howard, Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas "as you've never seen them before" (which we would certainly hope to be the case). All proceeds will go to "Everton in the Community", in its 25th anniversary campaign.