Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Wimbledon
English FA Cup, 3rd round
Ground: Wembley Stadium, London
For my first trip outside of Scotland since moving here, I finally watched my favourite English team AFC Wimbledon again. In the third round of the FA Cup we were drawn an away game against Tottenham Hotspur. As their usual stadium White Heart Lane is being rebuilt, they are playing at Wembley all season.
As a Premier League club, Spurs joined the competition in the third round. They have won the competition 8 times, only Manchester United (12 wins) and arch rivals Arsenal (13) won it more times. However, they haven’t won it since 1991, when they were the most successful team. Other than the FA Cup, the club from North London also won 4 League Cups (including their most recent major trophy win in 2008), 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 2 UEFA Cups and 2 national titels. Their most successful decade was the 1960’s.
AFC Wimbledon in their current form got founded in 2002 in the Combined Counties League, the 9th level of English football. However, the team is a continuation of Wimbledon FC which got founded in 1889. Wimbledon won the FA Cup once, in 1988. The seemingly invincible Liverpool FC got beaten 1-0 at Wembley by the “crazy gang”. Lawrie Sanchez scored the goal that got the team forever in the history books.
The journey down to London was far from comfortable. Booking short in advance and the game being on a Sunday afternoon meant that there weren’t many decent options for traveling. As a result, I ended up traveling down on an overnight coach, arriving early in the morning at Victoria Coach station in London. I traveled to King’s Cross with a night tube as it was still (just) before the regular service started. There I met other fans later own with who I went to pubs and then by tube to Wembley Park from where I walked to the stadium.
The atmosphere in the AFC Wimbledon end was very good. The full 7,700 allocation has quickly been sold out and plenty of away fans were in home ends. For just over an hour, the visitors from League 1 kept the host at 0-0. Then 2 quick goals in succession from Harry Kane and a goal by Jan Vertonghen took the score to 3-0 within 8 minutes. No cup shock here, but definitely a good game by the guests.