MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon: Clubs asked to show restraint by FA

FA Cup second round

  • Venue: Stadium MK
  • Date: Sunday, 2 December
  • Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Three Counties Radio

The Football Association has spoken to MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon urging both teams to show restraint in Sunday's first-ever game between the clubs.

Stuart Murdoch's story

Stuart Murdoch

"I think I was blacklisted. I was the face of that situation and was probably seen by other clubs and chairmen in that light. So in a way I was possibly unemployable."

The teams have shared a rivalry since AFC were formed 10 years ago in response to MK Dons - formerly Wimbledon - moving to Milton Keynes and meet in the second round of the FA Cup.

"They've asked us not to incite and if you score to be respectful," said MK Dons captain Dean Lewington.

"Basically don't do anything stupid."

Up to 3,000 AFC Wimbledon fans are expected to make the trip to a club many believe should never have been allowed to exist.

MK were formed in 2004, two years after an FA panel gave the green light for Pete Winkelman to move the old Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes, a decision which provoked fans into setting up AFC Wimbledon as a breakaway club.

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I'll probably go to see my granddaughter, take her to the swings and switch my phone off

Erik Samuelson Wimbledon chairman

With the strongest police and security presence ever seen at Stadium MK due on Sunday, MK boss Karl Robinson has asked his players to act sensibly.

"If we score we're going to celebrate," he said. "If there's a tackle to be won we want to win it.

"Rivalries are great if people conduct themselves in the right way. Rivalries are terrible if you start going down the route of violence and unnecessary chanting.

Either side of the divide

Neal Ardley

Both sides have personnel with connections to the old Wimbledon:

  • MK Dons: Dean Lewington was a youth product at Wimbledon and continued with MK, having now played 459 games
  • Goalkeeper David Martin started at Wimbledon and returned to MK in 2010
  • Assistant manager Mick Harford played 60 games for Wimbledon
  • AFC Wimbledon: Manager Neal Ardley (pictured) played 291 games for the old Wimbledon
  • Goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, 42, on loan from Doncaster, played 224 games for the old Wimbledon

"But I believe two sets of fans have got an opportunity to show we can host a game that is conducted in the right manner."

Left-back Lewington, who must overcome a thigh injury to feature, is a remnant of the old Wimbledon FC.

A product of their youth system, the 28-year-old from Kingston Upon Thames is the only remaining player from the Dons' move to Milton Keynes and has made 459 appearances across the two clubs.

"I didn't set out to be the only one left. It just happens and it happens slowly," he said.

"Somebody said to me a couple of days ago: 'Do you realise you're the only one left from the team that won League Two in 2008?'

"A few leave here and there and all of a sudden you're the last man standing.

"I've had chances to go to other clubs. When contracts are up you have a choice to make.

"But it's about what you want to do with your career. Do you chase after money or actually try to win stuff?

"Why, for an extra couple of quid a week, would I go somewhere else when we're building something unique here?"

Meanwhile, AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson said he will not be going to the match and that the club have not accepted any complimentary tickets.

"I'm not going, although I'm not the only member not going. It [the thought of going] leaves a knot in my stomach - I can't face it to be blunt," he told BBC London.

"I won't be watching it either. I'll probably go to see my granddaughter, take her to the swings and switch my phone off."