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Coley on Dons

20 September 2018

John Coleman knows a lot has changed on both sides since AFC Wimbledon played Stanley in the 2016 Play-Off semi-final.

Neal Ardley's side won 1-0 at Kingsmeadow and then Josh Windass and Piero Mingoia put the Reds ahead and in charge of the game at the Wham Stadium.

However Ade Akinfenwa made it 2-2 on aggregate, the game went into extra-time and Lyle Taylor scored the winner for Wimbledon and earned them promotion to League One.

It was agony for the Reds who had missed out on automatic promotion with a 0-0 draw with Stevenage and a 93rd minute winner for Bristol Rovers on the final day of that campaign.

"I felt low after the Wimbledon game but not as low as I felt after Stevenage three weeks earlier," said Coleman.

"A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, they are both totally different sides and I am looking forward to the game. We know they can be a handful.

"We have Scotty (Brown), Mark Hughes, Sean McConville, Billy Kee, Piero Mingoia and Seamus Conneely still here from that game and they may still feel sore from it.

"The main emphasis for us though is to get that elusive first home win, no matter who we are playing.

"I am looking forward to watching us play, we are playing well and if we play like we did at Fleetwood our luck will turn and we will score goals.

"We can get better and we know we need to take our chances and put the ball in the back of the net."

Coleman knows the first goal is vital - the Reds have gone behind in seven of their eight league games so far this season - and they are also on the hunt for their first clean sheet of the campaign.

"We need to take the lead, we have done well to come back and get something in seven out of those games but we can't keep falling behind as it won't always happen.

"Connor Ripley is frustrated he hasn't got a clean sheet - I think the way our defence have played deserves one and so we want one sooner rather than later.

"Saying that, the fact a draw away from home at a club like Fleetwood, with the infrastructure they have, feels like a defeat shows how far we have come."

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