Preview: AFC Wimbledon v Harriers
A massive week for Harriers comes to an end tomorrow at Wimbleson with the third of three games agaisnt the top three clubs in the Conference.
Having held first Luton and then Crawley to draws earlier in the week Harriers go into the game at Kingsmeadow full of confidence, looking to extend their unbeaten run to eleven games and pick up the three points that will keep them firmly in the final play-off position. New signing Matt Lowe goes straight into the squad but he is far from guaranteed a starting place as Lee Vaughan will probably come back into the side in place of Tom Sharpe who will be out for some time after dislocating his knee in the game against Crawley. Along with Sharpe, Jack Byrne will be missing as he finally completes his four-game suspension. On the plus side, however, both skipper Keith Briggs and Sean Canham could return to contention after missing the last games through injury.
Wimbledon lost the lead of the Conference on Tuesday, slipping behind Crawley on goal difference when the Red Devils picked up the point that they needed to move level with The Dons at the top of the table here at Aggborough. Manager Terry Brown has a number of players unavailable: Fraser Franks, Sammy Hatton, Christian Jolley, Gareth Gwilim and Ishmail Yakubu are all injured while Luke Moore is close to a return after shaking off an injury. Wimbledon have had a great season so far but their form has taken a dip recently with two defeats and a draw from their last four games which has helped Crawly sneak past them. Last time out they were defeated 2-1 at Grimsby.
Earlier in the season Harriers won the first meeting of the clubs 2-0 at Aggborough with goals from Chris McPhee and Marc Williams. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a Harriers win also; Harriers have the best of the previous meetings with two wins to one from the three games played.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis; Vaughan, Williams, Briscoe, Albrihton; Blair, McPhee, Shaw, Gittings; Morris, Matt.
Subs (from): Hankin, Briggs, Griffiths, Wright, Canham, Lowe, Thompson-Brown, Stevens.
Missing (suspended): Byrne.
Missing (injured): Sharpe.
The referee for the game tomorrow will be John Hopkins from Essex. This will be his second game in charge of a Harriers game; he did the 1-1 draw at St Albans City in 2007 in which he sent off two Harriers players. He was also in charge of a game Woking in 2009 that he abandoned, and postponed the game at Crawley a little over an hour before kick-off.
The weather tomorrow is forecast to be cloudy with a temperature of 11°C which shouldn't give the referee any reason to call the game off.