League Two - Wimbledon return to Football League

Sat, 21 May 17:49:00 2011

AFC Wimbledon clinched a place in the Football League after beating Luton Town 4-3 on penalties in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final at Eastlands.

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The victory completes a remarkable rise for the club who were only founded in 2002 after the FA sanctioned Wimbledon's relocation to Milton Keynes.

Since entering the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League in 2002/03, the Wombles have been promoted five times in nine seasons and next term will be just one tier behind MK Dons.

Goalkeeper Seb Brown was the hero after an entertaining, albeit hard-fought, goalless encounter in front of 18,195 supporters at Eastlands which ended with Brown saving penalties from Alex Lawless and Jason Walker, leaving Dons skipper Danny Kedwell to fire home the penalty that clinched victory.

Luton striker Walker had headed against a post in the 89th minute before Dons counterpart Kaid Mohamed stroked a shot against the woodwork in extra-time.

Dons boss Terry Brown who was celebrating after eight minutes - only to see Kedwell ruled offside as he converted after Mark Tyler could only parry Mohamed's effort from the left.

Kedwell saw his effort cause panic in the Hatters rearguard before Claude Gnakpa forced Brown into action at the other end.

The opening 45 minutes was a flowing affair, yet ill-discipline - which reared its head towards the end of the first half - was dominating over goalscoring opportunities as the clash approached the final half an hour of normal time.

Luton went closest to winning within 90 minutes when Walker saw his superb header hit a post and fall into the hands of Brown, shortly after AFC Wimbledon had survived an almighty goalmouth scramble.

Both sides started to show signs of tiredness in extra-time, while Mohamed almost snatched it in the 111th minute when he sent a great chance against a post.

It was left for Brown to produce heroics in the resulting shoot-out as AFC Wimbledon became the first club formed this century to join the Football League ranks.

PA Sport

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