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This time, Dons columnist Dominic Damesick hopes the snow doesn’t cause a more serious problem later in the season.
Snow always leaves me feeling conflicted. The child inside me is still excited by the falling flakes, the magical touch of white across the landscape, the joy of snowmen and snowball fights, and of course there is always the ultimate hope, that there will be sufficient snowfall to justify being able to stay in the warm of home and do the sum total of sod all.
The other side of me (I would like to say mature, but it would be more accurate to describe it as grumpy and cynical) is frustrated by the disruptions to the sporting calendar and the public transport system, is fed up of being unable to feel my hands or feet, and is tired of living with the fear that a walk down to the shops to pick up something for dinner will end with both groceries and me scattered across the high-street, after an inadvertent fight with a patch of black ice.
The Dons’ fixture away at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday was one of six League One matches to fall foul of the weather, and perhaps the main surprise was that more games were not postponed.
No games in the Premiership or the Championship were called off, and most pitches looked in good condition – the benefits of undersoil heating. This means that the Dons’ next game is away at Queens Park Rangers in the fourth round of the FA Cup – the furthest the Dons have advanced in the competition since their reincarnation as the Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Of course, the club formerly known as Wimbledon had a very proud history in the FA Cup, but this season the ‘new’ Dons have written a memorable FA Cup story of their own, which includes a memorable victory against AFC Wimbledon – the ‘other’ Dons – in Round 2.
By the time the Dons have played QPR, assuming that the Premiership club are able to overcome any weather difficulties in ensuring that the game is played next Saturday, three of the Dons’ last four matches will have been in the FA Cup. This recent run of Cup fixtures, coupled with the postponement of Saturday’s league outing, has meant that the Dons have fallen behind in the games played column in League One. By the time next Saturday’s fixtures are completed some clubs will be four games ahead of the Dons on the fixtures calendar.
This, of course, means that the Dons will face a severe fixture pile-up in the home straight of the season, which looks a potentially worrying prospect given their limited squad depth. However, if the Dons can hit a run of form then having games Saturday-Tuesday could really fuel the side’s momentum: when you are winning the next game can never come soon enough.
Plus, it will hopefully mean that the Dons will be able to maximise the league games Luke Chadwick is available for, which can only be a good thing. So, while the hectic fixture schedule will no doubt strain Karl Robinson’s resources, it could be a cloud with a silver lining. Of course, the injuries could mount up, the wheels could come off, and Dons fans might face a spell of suffering twice a week, every week, but at least the weather will not be quite as Arctic.
The emotional turmoil of watching the Dons’ promotion hopes slip away would be misery enough without a case of frostbite being thrown into the bargain.