AFC Wimbledon promoted to League 1!

AFC Wimbledon have achieved promotion to League 1 after defeating Plymouth Argyle 2-0 in the Play-off Final at Wembley.

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For the first time in the clubs short history, AFC Wimbledon has been promoted to England’s third tier of football.

Despite looking in control for most parts of the game, fans were kept on the edge of their seats for 74 minutes before the deadlock was finally broken.

Lyle Taylor has been Wimbledon’s saving grace, scoring 22 goals this season. Once again, Taylor was their to score the first crucial goal for the Pheonix, volleying home a low driven ball.

It was only fitting that footballs strongest man Adebayo Akinfenwa scored the sealing penalty.

Nicknamed the “beast”, Akinfenwa kindly pushed Callum Kennedy aside to take the penalty. It was a brave decision for the English striker, who had previously missed his last two penalties.

“I did promise Cal K that I would let him take the pen, but it was just set up too beautifully and I’m bigger than Cal so Cal’s unlucky. Sorry Cal K, I love you though, that’s all it was.

Akinfenwa made no mistake from the spot and sent Wimbledon fans into delirium late in injury time.

It’s been a painful rebuild for fans who have had to literally start again after their former club Wimbledon FC was virtually taken away from them.

This is a dream come true for manager Neal Ardley, who played just under 250 games for Wimbledon FC.

In 2013, Ardley managed to ensure AFC Wimbledon’s Football League survival, in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town F.C. on the last day of the season in League two.

An emotional Ardley celebrated taking AFC Wimbledon to League 1, just 14 years since the clubs inception.

“It’s what you dream of, to stand there in front of 20,000 people who 14 years ago had their club ripped away from them, and stand there as one of their own who came through the ranks at the age of 11, it doesn’t get any better than that. You can write any story you want.”

AFC Wimbledon will be matched with MK Dons in one of the most unique football rivalries. Sometimes fate writes itself. To read more on the history of the AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons rivalry, read our feature piece here > http://theturf.com.au/2016/05/25/afc-wimbledon-rise-phoenix/#.V0zcN7h97cs

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Ari Charilaou