Preparations are almost complete for WIFC’s weekend double header, as they take on both AFC Wimbledon and Punch Drunk FC, who represent Ipswich in the IFA, at the Met Police Sports Club in Bushey. It’s only the second time in the club’s history that two games have taken place on the same day – the first time saw defeats to both Fulham and Preston in December 2006. The Internet ‘Orns will be hoping for a better outcome this time, and with 33 players to choose from a lack of options certainly couldn’t be used as an excuse if it doesn’t happen.
The game with AFC Wimbledon is the semi-final of the IFA London Cup. With West Ham already having beaten Barnet in the other semi-final, both sides will be hoping to book their place to meet the Hammers in May. WIFC have saved their best form of the season for this competition so far, having won all three group games to set up the home semi-final tie.
Joel Moody will be part of the squad for the semi-final. “AFC Wimbledon and WIFC have a rich history, it’s always a tough, fair contest with a decent team” said Moody, who made his 150th appearance for the club last weekend. “I’m looking forward to hopefully getting closer to the elusive 50 goal mark with a win and a potential Cup Final appearance” added Moody.
The history between the two teams dates back to May 2005, and Saturday’s game will be the 9th between the two sides. The most recent saw WIFC beat AFC Wimbledon’s B team in the group stages of the London Cup in January. WIFC hold the upper hand overall, with six wins in the series, but that will count for little on Saturday with a Cup Final berth up for grabs.
As for Punch Drunk FC, the second part of the double header sees WIFC take on one of their most common opponents, with this being the 15th meeting between the two teams. The first match was at Worldnet in 1998 and though Punch Drunk won that game 1-0, WIFC have held the upper hand since, with only two further wins for the tractor boys. The second of those was on their last visit in January 2011, when Richard Wenham scored for the home side in a 1-2 defeat.
Andy Myall was the star of the show for WIFC in the teams last meeting in East Anglia earlier this season. Myall was on target twice in an entertaining 2-2 draw and hopes to go one better this time around. “Scoring two goals was obviously a highlight, but it would have been better if they’d contributed to a win, and if I’d not been substituted whilst on a hat-trick” joked Myall. “I’d like to be able to put both right this time, but the first is perhaps more likely… Either way, it will be a great game again and the fact that WIFC have two games on the same day means most players will get a lot of football”
Moody also noted that two games was a mark of a club on the up. Having joined in 2005, he has become an integral part of WIFC, and the club has become a huge part of his life. “Who would ever have thought back in 2005 as a 17 year old that I would have made so many great friends and connections and had such good times on the various foreign trips. WIFC has been a constant through a lot of highs and a few lows, and I’m thankful for that.” Myall also enthused about the club and the day ahead. “It’ll be a great day all round, as with two teams in action it will be a great occasion and we’ll have a good time entertaining the two opposition teams, having a drink or two and then watching the big boys in the afternoon. For me that’s what the IFA is all about” added Myall.
Full record – WIFC v AFC Wimbledon
All time WIFC scorers v AFC Wimbledon
6 – Richard Murphy, Rob Sterry
2 – Chris Westcott, Scott Mathers, Jimmy Davis, Chris Dundon, OG
1 – Deam Driscoll, Simon Neill, Rob Cooke, Martin Pollard, Joel Moody, Alex Prentice, Stuart Nicholls, Dave Soloway
Full Record – WIFC v Punch Drunk FC (Ipswich)
All-time WIFC scorers v Punch Drunk FC
10 – Scott Mathers
5 – Richard Wenham, Rob Sterry, Paul Watt
4 – Marc Duffy
2 – Simon Neill, Andy Sparrow, Dave Soloway, Matt Ainsley, Sammy Janaway, Martin Pollard, Mark Brennan, Andy Myall
1 – Ian Lay, Dave Perahia, Jamie Parkins, Paul Karlsen, Chris Westcott, Joel Moody, Richard Murphy, Mat Ball, Matt Wells, OG