THE HISTORY OF WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
2001
 
11 August 2001
Nationwide League Division 1
Selhurst Park
Attendance: 9,142
Ref: Mark Cowburn
 
Wimbledon
David Connelly, Neil Shipperley, Darren Purse (OG)
3 (1) - (0) 1
Birmingham City
Bryan Hughes
18
Nico Vaesen
15
Jerry Gill
Subbed 70
5
Darren Purse
Yellow 56 Own Goal 76
17
Michael Johnson
3
Martin Grainger
Subbed 55
11
Stan Lazaridis
12
Martyn O'Connor
4
Danny Sonner
2
Nicky Eaden
9
Geoff Horsfield
Subbed 65
16
Tommy Mooney
--
6
David Holdsworth
Sub (3 55)3
10
Bryan Hughes
Sub (9 70)9 Goal 90
14
Curtis Woodhouse
25
Paul Furlong
Sub (15 65)15 Yellow 71
30
Kevin Poole

Wimbledon's new-look strikeforce sent out a warning to the First Division as the Dons eased past Birmingham.

David Connolly and Neil Shipperley both got on the scoresheet, while Birmingham's Darren Purse headed into his own net for the Dons' third goal.

Shipperley, a £750,000 summer buy from Barnsley, scored with an easy tap-in after a brilliant piece of skill from influential left midfielder Kevin Cooper.

He raced to the byline and slipped the ball across the goal-line for the big striker to roll the ball into the net.

And Connolly, snapped up from Dutch giants Feyenoord a fortnight ago, had an equally easy task to side-foot into an open goal after David Nielsen seized on a Martin Grainger clanger.

The third arrived when Connolly headed a far-post Alan Kimble free-kick back across goal and centre-back Purse could only nod the ball into his own net.

The Blues' Bryan Hughes hit a spectacular consolation in the 90th minute when he volleyed the ball home from 20 yards.

It was a fully deserved victory for Terry Burton's men, who outclassed Birmingham with fluent, pass-and-move football that proves the Dons are determined to pass their way to success this season.

The Blues never seemed to work together as a team, while Wimbledon's enthusiastic closing down and clever lay-offs worked wonders on a day when their fans protested about the club's proposed move to Milton Keynes.