By Matt Barlow for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:39 GMT, 3 November 2020 | Updated: 00:08 GMT, 4 November 2020
It's been emotional, to borrow a phrase popularised on screen by that iconic Crazy Gangster turned Hollywood hard-man Vinnie Jones.
Emotional when they left for Selhurst Park and emotional when betrayed by football and franchised to Milton Keynes.
Emotional when fans produced a phoenix club in the space of 10 working days and started over in the ninth tier. Emotional last year when, so near and yet so far from home, the project continued to hit snags.
AFC Wimbledon made their long-awaited to return to Plough Lane for firs time since 1991
Phoenix club finally returned to the site of their former stadium and 'spiritual home' in Merton
So, emotion was guaranteed as Wimbledon returned to Wimbledon and played at Plough Lane for the first time since 1991, an occasion strangely not lost despite by the echoing emptiness of this spiritual homecoming.
'Thirty years in the wilderness and finally we come home as we're struck with a global pandemic,' said Ivor Heller, one of the founders of the club in its AFC guise. 'Typical Wimbledon. I can't believe we didn't see it coming.'
Supporters settled into pubs nearby to watch on TV. Those on the restricted guest list navigated the building site, hundreds of flats still under construction towering high on all sides, to reach the shiny new 9,000-capacity arena with its glistening rectangle of turf as paper signs were stuck to bare walls and cables taped down.
Joe Piggott scored twice for Dons but were denied a historic victory by a late Doncaster goal
The brand-new 9,000-seater stadium in Merton finally hosted its' first AFC Wimbledon game