Five things we learned from AFC Wimbledon (a)

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-0 victory at Wimbledon on Saturday...

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 7:48 pm
James McClean celebrates scoring number two

1 Bouncebackability! For the third time out of three this term, Latics responded to a league defeat in the best way possible - with a victory to nil. With so much upheaval over the last few months, it was never going to be plain sailing all season. But one thing this fledgling side does have already in abundance is character. The ability to respond to adversity is serving them well. In addition to...

2 Smells like team spirit! ...a winning team is usually a happy team. But as Ben Amos pointed out before the game, the mood didn't dip following the midweek defeat to MK Dons. We all saw the public scenes of jubilation during the 90 minutes at Plough Lane, and at full-time, but those on social media also saw a special moment from the team's return north on the train. Max Power's video post, featuring his young son taking part in a childish, but incredibly funny, 'spoon' game with Jack Whatmough and Kell Watts - while club captain Jamie Jones struggled to contain his laughter - underlined what a happy club this is at the moment. And long may that continue.

3 Familiarity breeds content! It's fair to say a few eyebrows were raised at 2pm when the team sheets were released, and Latics were unchanged. Plenty of fans had voiced their desire for Tom Pearce to come in at full-back, with Max Power filling in for the injured Jordan Cousins ahead of Tom Bayliss. But Leam Richardson kept faith with Bayliss, who'd made his league debut against MK Dons, and was rewarded with a fine performance from the on-loan Preston man. It certainly wasn't all Bayliss' fault Latics had struggled against MK Dons, and another 90 minutes under his belt will stand him - and the team - in good stead.

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4 Case for the defence! Saturday's shut-out was Wigan's seventh in only 13 league matches this term. Considering the backline was thrown together on the eve of the campaign - and Kell Watts only joining after the opening game - the understanding at the back is remarkable. And as Leam Richardson was the first to admit after the game, the clean sheet was as much down to forwards Charlie Wyke and Will Keane as the goalkeeper and defenders, with the side defending from the front and never giving the opposition an inch.

5 The joy of six! For the stattos out there, this was the sixth different ground Latics have faced Wimbledon, in both of their guises. It was their first victory at 'Plough Lane', having failed to win at the old one 400 yards down the road, with the other clashes taking place at Springfield Park, the JJB/DW Stadium, Selhurst Park and Kingstonian FC.

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