WELCOME to the Phil Parkinson era: It might not be pretty but it sure as hell is effective.

Ask any one of the 769 fans crammed into a corner of the Cherry Red Records Stadium if they cared their side had not been at their best. By the looks of it, only the front row had any great view of the pitch, anyhow.

This was a day on which only the result mattered. And what will go down in the record books is that Wanderers ended a 495-day wait for an away win, Gary Madine and Liam Trotter’s goals enough to continue a perfect start to life in League One.

It was by no means comfortable. Sun beaming down on a syrupy thick, compact pitch, this was a real war of attrition. And when Andy Barcham produced a brilliant finish to put Wimbledon ahead on 16 minutes the critics were ready to pounce.

But this is where Parkinson’s Wanderers appear to differ from the teams which have gone before.

Neal Ardley’s side retain some of the physical and aerial prowess that made the original Wimbledon such a handful. On this occasion, the Whites played them at their own game. Parkinson resisted the temptation to use the artistry of Zach Clough or Max Clayton, favouring the power of Jamie Proctor and Gary Madine up front from the start.

“We just looked at their first two games and thought we needed to be physical,” he later explained. “We’d hoped to dominate midfield with our diamond whilst having the outlet of Proctor running down the sides and then hitting Gary Madine on the diagonal.

“When we did that, it looked good. It didn’t always work.”

For the majority of the first half it definitely didn’t work.

Wimbledon were intent on making a statement in their first home game at League One level and Dean Parrett had already brought a good save out of Mark Howard by the time Barcham opened the scoring, capitalising on a fortuitous bounce off a Wanderers defender to curl a fine shot inside the far post.

Wanderers stuck to the gameplan. Jay Spearing and Trotter laboured to get control of a narrow midfield, the only real width offered by Dean Moxey down the left.

To get themselves back on level terms, the Whites were going to have to take a risk. Mark Davies had been having one of those ineffective afternoons until his darting run down the left led to a cross for Madine, who somehow squeezed a shot under the body of home keeper Ryan Clarke.

It wasn’t a classic and won’t be bothering the end-of-season highlight reel – but for Madine, a player who has been desperately searching for a break in his Wanderers career to date, this was manna from heaven.

Revived, the Whites manufactured a couple of half-chances before half time as they finally started to find gaps.

Spearing dragged a shot just wide, Madine had another good effort blocked and Proctor got his head to a corner, only to divert it over the bar as Gavin Ward blew the half-time whistle.

If effort was questioned a few months ago in the Championship, it most certainly cannot be so far this season.

In fact, Wanderers’ main problem was trying too hard to force the issue in the second half.

Both Spearing and Davies were guilty of giving away silly free kicks around the penalty box – one of which was well saved by Howard from Darius Charles.

If the keeper was in solid form, so was his back four – and David Wheater and Mark Beevers continue to look like a particularly strong partnership at this level, their defending exemplary at times.

The game changed when Parkinson cleverly introduced Clough off the bench, not as you might have expected for Madine or Proctor, but for Davies.

A front three kept Wimbledon pinned back and with the little magician back after a hamstring injury there was a new dimension about the Whites’ attacking play.

Within 10 minutes Proctor got down the right to produce the cross of the afternoon, swiped at by Clough before being bundled over the line at the far post by Trotter.

Nerves set in – and Wanderers will have to be a lot better in possession if they are going to see more results out like this.

Thanks largely to the belligerence of Wheater and Beevers, the constant flurry of balls into the penalty box were repelled and even five minutes of dreaded stoppage time was survived.

Five years earlier to the day Owen Coyle’s side beat QPR on the opening day of the Premier League – heralding what we hoped would be a brand new dawn. History shows it was nothing of the sort.

Two wins out of two represents the best start to a season since 2001 but no-one at the Macron is getting ahead of themselves.

There is a steely belief in the Wanderers camp, one which can only get stronger with results like this. But if Parkinson has anything to do with it there will be no dreaming of promotion for some time yet.