Dave Anderson had called for an immediate and positive reaction to the Bromley defeat. He and the traveling faithful were rewarded with the Dons? biggest win of this league campaign so far - a resounding 4-0 victory at Windsor & Eton.
To aid the recovery process, the manager made four changes: both Butlers and Barry Moore returned to the side after their one game suspension, while Michael Harvey replaced Dave Sargent at left wing-back.
The determination to make amends for Tuesday?s away loss was immediately visible as the Dons took the game to their hosts right from the start, creating good early chances and forcing several corners.
The game?s first flashpoint came as Wallace committed a horrible foul on Steve Butler right in front of the Wimbledon bench. Dave Anderson audibly called it the worst tackle he?d seen all year and it was hard to argue with that, even after the Fisher game. It was late, it was from behind, it was nasty. A yellow card was produced, when not for the first time this season more stringent sanctions seemed merited.
But Wimbledon took further revenge as Drake saved well when Moore?s freekick was headed goalwards. Wes Daly sent in a flat corner at head height which Matt York sent powerfully past Drake and into the back of the net for a 1-0 early lead.
Plummer and Fowler pulled the strings as Wimbledon pressed for a second amid some panicky defending. Drake was on his mettle to deal with crosses and corners, while Moore sent a volley on the turn dipping just over the bar.
Despite having been well under the cosh, Windsor were within inches of getting back on terms. Plummer appeared to be tripped as Windsor won the ball, though the referee evened matters up by waving play on after a clear Steve Butler foul. Butler?s assassin Wallace picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired past Little, only to see his low drive rebound off the inside of the post and harmlessly clear. That brought the Dons bench to their feet again, both to protest that the player responsible shouldn?t have still been on the pitch, and to berate the Dons backline for some lackadaisical defending. It was hard to argue with the veracity of their logic on either point.
Suitably chastened, the Dons immediately took the game by the scruff of the neck, tripling their lead in two mad minutes as Windsor self destructed. A poor backpass left Drake horribly exposed and Richard Butler took full advantage, skipping merrily round the goalkeeper like a small child in a French cornfield and gently caressing the ball into the back of the net from a narrow angle.
Barely 60 seconds later, Butler stormed forward once more and eluded several challenges before Dunlop clattered into him in the area, launching him skywards for one of the clearest penalties you?ll see all season. Drake went the right way for Plummer?s low spot kick, but his attempted save proved limp-wristed and the ball squirmed past him for 3-0.
Wimbledon continued to press without creating another clear-cut chance before half-time, while Little saved well from a deflected Wallace drive. Steve Butler took his revenge on Wallace just before the break and was rightly booked for a hard challenge.
The second half continued with the Dons on top. Cahill was booked for a foul on Butler. Daly?s chipped freekick caused problems but was hacked clear.
Dave Anderson decided the Dons? superiority was enough to give Dwayne Plummer?s aching hamstrings a rest and he was replaced by Dave Sargent.
Michael Harvey pushed further forward and almost immediately set up the fourth, as Richard Butler netted his second of the afternoon with his head, beating the keeper to Harvey's chipped through ball. With half an hour to go, Butler himself was the next player to earn a rest, jogging off to warm applause as he was replaced by Shane Smeltz.
Harvey then found himself clear on goal, but Drake blocked well in a one-on-one situation. Smeltz pulled a cheeky if end-product-less nutmeg from his Antipodean bag of tricks, while twinkletoes Fowler bamboozled two Windsor defenders before curling a shot high and wide. It seemed as though a fifth goal was destined to prove elusive as Drake produced a point blank block when Barry Moore?s diving header looked certain to convert an excellent Harvey cross.
The icing of another goal was indeed beyond the visitors, but the final whistle confirmed a 4-0 victory exactly two years to the day since Godalming & Guildford were dispatched from Kingsmeadow by the same scoreline.
Windsor & Eton were far from the strongest opponents the Dons will face this season, but Wimbledon bounced back from the Bromley disappointment with an excellent display, good value for four goals after a wholehearted, talented and, above all, committed 90 minute display. A result and a good performance were what the manager and fans wanted. And whilst you can?t always get what you want, on this occasion Wimbledon more than tried quite hard and got what they needed. Now let?s have another one, Dave. Demanding, us?