Comment: MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon - What did it mean to you?
No less than fourteen coaches filled with Wimbledon supporters travelled up to Milton Keynes to visit the place they will always remember for having stolen their football club.
Proudly donned in the team colours of blue and yellow, for many it was clearly the moment they had been waiting for ever since Wimbledon FC was sold off and moved to Buckinghamshire nearly a decade ago.
Banners reading “We Are Wimbledon” and “MK Scum” were being given out to provoke a reaction from afar, but police cordons ensured none of the travelling supporters nor home fans would come into contact.
Speaking before the game, a Wimbledon fan called Danny said: “They stole our club and everyone in football knows that. Whatever the result today, what Wimbledon have achieved is amazing.”
But others who stepped off the coach will have looked around and felt at least a pang of sadness at how unrecognisable the mutation is their old club, save for the bizarre moniker of Dons which the club persists on keeping as their nickname.
Surrounded in a retail complex of 2,000 car parking spaces, fast food restaurants, clothes shops - and the biggest Asda in the country - Stadium mk is a charcoal goliath bathed in a sea of similarly-coloured concrete.
Once inside, the football ground is undeniably impressive and made for a fantastic atmosphere once the match got going, despite it being a tense and mostly drab game of football.
Wimbledon fans were fierce in their booing of the MK players and equally effusive in their support for the true Dons - as were a dogged contingent of Luton fans who sat in a neutral zone, simply for the pleasure of irritating their local rivals.
The MK fans, many of them wearing 1990s Wimbledon FC shirts in act of defiance, displayed banners reading “We’re Keeping the Dons - Just Get Over It” and “MK - We're The Dons”.
But the biggest cheers and jeers came when a plane flew across the bright blue sky carrying the banner “We Are Wimbledon” - perhaps a symbol of how fans across the country were watching this match and wondering how they would feel if Wimbledon FC’s story had happened to their club.
MK was undoubtedly the superior team in the first half and deserved their goal, a very well struck shot just before the half-time break.
But the second half was an excruciating mix of ecstasy and despair, as Wimbledon equalized, prompting an overspill of emotion which led some fans to invade the pitch.
And Wimbledon came so agonizingly close to winning in the final minutes, before cruelly conceding a second goal to lose the game at the death.
It may have been an agonising way to lose a football match, but fans will have taken a huge amount of pride and satisfaction from a football fixture which promised so much doom.
It allowed the outside world to again recognise the achievements of AFC Wimbledon and the renewed horror of how clubs can be mismanaged, financially ruined and sold off to another part of the country like a used car.
And it showed the two clubs can exist in the same physical space and allow people to vent their grievances publically, without there being a mass brawl.
** Thames Valley police made three arrests on Sunday of three AFC Wimbledon fans for public order offences.
Two were arrested after the game, and one before the match, and all were given fixed penalty notices before being released.
So what did the game mean to you? Did you watch the game at home or at Kingsmeadow? Did you travel to Milton Keynes?
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