BY RICHARD CAWLEY
AFC Wimbledon pulled off the biggest shock in the FA Cup fourth round as they beat West Ham United 4-2 at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The Dons are bottom of League One and the lowest scorers in the division. But they raced into a 3-0 lead early in the second half against the Hammers – 58 places above them – with goals from Kwesi Appiah and a Scott Wagstaff double.
Lucas Perez and Felipe Anderson brought the score back to 3-2 with 19 minutes remaining.
But then 19-year-old defender Toby Sibbick headed a fourth with two minutes of normal time remaining to take Wally Downes’ side through.
VINNIE JONES (BT pundit and Dons legend)
“They got what they deserved tonight. They set their stall out. They tried to narrow the pitch in the first half, got the third goal and then we lost our way a little bit.
“We got our shape back and Wally [Downes] made a couple of great substitutions and they tried to stop the wingers getting back into it.
“Wally will tell you that if you have eight or nine of the opposition players turn up with gloves on, you didn’t half fancy your chances and tell the lads: ‘Let’s have some today’.”
WALLY DOWNES (AFC Wimbledon manager)
“What was important was that they got over Tuesday’s poor performance [3-0 home defeat by Fleetwood]. It was a great game to blow the cobwebs away and they did.
“Football is random. There is a load of analysis we do, me included, but on any given day, any team can beat any other team and we have done it tonight.
“They are a passing team but with Andy Carroll in the side they have to go direct and they may have got caught between the two stools. We knew it was important to stop Mark Noble getting the ball because he can pick anyone out. When he got on the ball it was important to stop that.
“When you’re 3-0 up against a Premier League side you can’t be stupid enough to think you’ll be four or five goals better than them at the end of the game. They are going to have their period, and it’s how you combat that.
“When they got to 3-2 anything can happen. It was critical we held out and luckily we got the fourth.”
SCOTT WAGSTAFF (scorer of two Wimbledon goals)
“They boys were excellent. It’s a great and we need to make sure we do that every week. It’s not been good enough this season and we know that.
“Today shows we are good enough and we can pick up the results.
“The boys worked their socks off, didn’t give them any respect and that’s how you get a result.
“I’m just buzzing now.”
“I think it’s going to have to be my beard [on saying he would colour his hair Wimbledon colours if they won]. I totally forgot about that! I’ll be true to my word. I don’t think my missus will be too happy about it.
“Kwesi [Appiah] was excellent. He put a great ball in and I gambled – that’s what the gaffer wanted me to do in the middle. Thankfully I got a good connection.
“We need to enjoy times like these – they don’t come around that often. Then we’ve got a nice easy away game at Sunderland.”
TOBY SIBBICK (Dons substitute and late goalscorer)
“Luckily I got my chance and scored to help get us through.
“It’s probably one of the highlights for me scoring against Premier League opposition. We thought we got unlucky playing them in the League Cup because we got down to 10 men so early, we could’ve given them a game then.
“Luckily we got our revenge tonight.”