The FA Cup tie the whole country wants to see – but the two clubs would rather not
MK DONS and AFC Wimbledon have been drawn to potentially meet in the FA Cup for the second time in as many years, and the first meeting between the two clubs now seems almost inevitable.
The second round tie – should both sides first win home replays against Cambridge City and York City respectively – will take place at stadium:mk over the weekend of December 1/2.
It will almost certainly be televised, and will definitely guarantee both clubs a lot of attention they would rather do without.
Dons and AFC Wimbledon almost met at the same stage of the competition in 2010, but after Karl Robinson’s side lost their first round replay to Stevenage on a Tuesday night, they avoided an anxious wait to see whether or not AFC could edge past Ebbsfleet United on the Thursday.
They did, but ITV were left with a slightly less exciting second round clash having already secured the rights for a Saturday lunchtime showdown in south London.
This latest potential meeting of the two sides has already got the national media excited again, with headlines such as ‘MK Dons and Wimbledon on FA Cup collision course’ popping up within minutes of Sunday’s draw.
Closer to home, the reality is that the two clubs would rather do without the fuss – and their respective statements issued in light of the draw were fairly predictable as Pete Winkelman went for the ‘we’re excited’ approach for Dons, while AFC clammed they would ‘rather not have been drawn in this tie’.
Whether there really is excitement, or trepidation, behind the scenes at stadium:mk this week, only the Dons chairman and those who work there will know. The club seems to have little choice but to try and sound upbeat about the potential clash, while those at AFC will say exactly what they think – believing they are most deserving of the moral high ground.
Meanwhile the reaction from fans of the two clubs seems to suggest something of an appetite for the game – fuelled by a realisation that ‘it’s going to happen one day, so let’s get it over with’.
Online message boards have been going crazy, and the fixture will be the talk of the two clubs’ respective towns until we know for sure whether or not one of the most eagerly anticipated FA Cup clashes in recent history is on or not.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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