AFC Wimbledon writer Mark Hendrikx looks at the Dons' recent fortunes and how some repairs are needed.
Flatpack furniture. We've all experienced the trials and tribulations of building flatpack furniture. The shop window will always show the piece of furniture built perfectly, in the model home with colour-coordinated walls.
But after a while, the table we built at the beginning of the season has taken a few too many knocks. A leg needs replacing. (Or in AFC Wimbledon's case: Taylor, Barcham, Elliott, Meades, Parrett, Robinson [against Chesterfield] and Barry Fuller getting more knocks than a front door does in a lifetime). That's a whole lotta legs in need of replacing.
But AFC Wimbledon aren't made of money. We fund the team via generous donations, fan membership and sponsorship. We won't allow ourselves to be bought by a rich sugar daddy who will pump money into the club. I digress, though, and shall continue about the flatpack furniture.
You see, we needed a replacement leg, or two, during the visits to Chesterfield and Gillingham. But the store hasn't had what we need in stock, according to the Gaffer. At least not for the budget we have. So we've had to make do and use some tape and hammer in some nails. But that didn't do: We had to replace a few legs with unvarnished replacements.
Tom Beere and Alfie Egan are two of our youth academy products. Both had a couple of cameo roles last season, notably Beere who scored the first goal in our aggregate win against Accrington Stanley during the play-offs last season. Alfie was part of the youth team that made it to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals and even scored against Chelsea.
Both are not in match-day squads just on merit: They have earned their places with aplomb. And yes, metaphorically speaking, they might cause the table to be slightly leaning to one side because we are not used to having them in the side.
Against Chesterfield, our team had no other option but to defend with all our might so we would arrest our losing run away from home.
And defend they did well. In fact, Dominic Poleon missed a glorious chance to open the scoring, but nonetheless we can hold our heads up high with a valuable point earned on our travels to Derbyshire.
Our youth team products did their jobs impeccably at the Proact Stadium. They filled the gaps perfectly well; absolutely worthy replacements.
I was also going to write a report about the Gillingham match within this article and I was going to use the same analogy as before about how we need to be patched up by every means possible to get our team back fit and ready, however the match was postponed due to a frozen pitch. Is this a blessing in disguise? Or could we have done with getting this match against Gillingham out of the way?
I believe it would have been a case of 'damned if we do, damned if we don't'. Gillingham have a point to prove under their new coach, we have yet another match away from home where we were more than likely not going to score and our development squad players would have perhaps had a chance to go all out at the Priestfield Stadium.
But so be it, the chance has come and gone and we now have 14 days to repair the walking wounded rather than the 10 days had the match against the Gills gone ahead.
So now the physios can do their best to repair our legs and ankles, get the table back in ship-shape so that we can return back to our usual Wimbledon selves: Tough, durable and reliable.