Saturday, 28 July 2001
Sixfields Stadium
Northampton Town
0 (0) - (5) 7
David Connelly (3), Neil Shipperley (2), Patrick Agyemang, Jobi McAnuff

David Connolly nabbed a first-half hat-trick as further goals from Neil Shipperley (2), Patrick Agyemang and Jobi McAnuff gave the Dons a highly impressive 7-0 pre-season win over Northampton at the Sixfields Stadium.

On a scorchingly hot afternoon it took the Dons just nine minutes to go into the lead, Shipperly firmly planting a far-post header into the opposite top corner from Jermaine Darlington's pin-point cross.

Republic of Ireland striker Connolly then impresively opened his Wimbledon account on 26 minutes, being in the perfect position to slide home Kevin Cooper's low cross from the left.

Two became three ten minutes later as more fine work from Darlington found the unmarked Shipperley once more at the far post, and the summer signing from Barnsley made the job of slipping the ball past the advancing keeper look incredibly straight forward.

Connolly levelled matters with his striking partner in the 42nd minute, as some neat interplay on the edge of the area allowed the Irishman a run on goal to guide the ball home, and just two minutes later the Dons' latest signing won the hat-trick race as a precise through ball from Cooper allowed him to slip the ball under the once again advancing keeper.

Not surprisingly, things slowed down a little in the second-half as a combination of substitutions and the heat had some effect. Patrick Agyemang took the place of Shipperley at the start of the half, and on 56 minutes showed that he too had plenty to offer, scoring the goal of the game when skipping past two defenders before arrowing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Connolly then took a well-deserved rest, but still the Dons were not done with as young Jobi McAnuff added the seventh on 84 minutes, tangling with a defender and the ball lobbing tantalisingly into the unguarded net.

That was it on the scoring front, but at the other end keeper Kelvin Davis then distinguished himself with a couple of superb stops, and all in all it was a highly satisfactory afternoon's work. Connolly could well afford a smile as he left the pitch to rousing applause from the travelling Wimbledon supporters.