IT WAS, of course, a much better story for Aaron Downes to 'score' at both ends in Saturday's dramatic finish at Plainmoor.
And the Press Association, the national agency whose word has become law on these matters, gave Torquay United's Aussie defender an 88th-minute own-goal because his misheader definitely changed the direction of AFC Wimbledon player Harry Pell's shot and deflected it past Gulls goalie Martin Rice.
Rice, who'd saved everything else that the Dons had aimed at him in a Man Of The Match performance, would have fancied himself to keep out Pell's 20-yard shot, well-struck as it was.
There is nothing in the Laws Of The Game which covers this issue.
But I'm in the camp which reckons that an own-goal should be awarded only if the defender's intervention turns an off-target effort into an on-target one.
In other words, Pell deserves the credit for the goal which looked as if it would condemn Alan Knill's new-look United to an opening-day defeat in front of their own supporters.
But only four minutes later, the 92nd to be precise, Downes completed a great story by heading the Gulls' equaliser at the other end.
"Unbelievable relief" was how Downes described his emotion at that moment.
"On reflection, I should have left the first one, because Ricey would have saved it," he said.
"But I usually try and put my head on everything, and when it left his (Pell's) foot, I felt I had to get something on it.
"I'm just so happy we're not going home with our head in our hands."
Downes gave most of the credit for his 'real' goal to young winger Niall Thompson, who Knill sent on within moments of Wimbledon taking the lead.
"It's hard to go on with only a couple of minutes to go, but Niall got himself involved and good on him," said Downes.
"He put a ball in just before the goal, which I thought I should have done better with, but the second one was right on the money.
"They were two good deliveries."
Wimbledon only half-cleared Kevin Nicholson's long throw, Thompson curled his right-wing cross back into the goalmouth where Downes rose above everyone else to head down and past Dons goalie Ross Worner.
Worner hadn't been nearly as busy as Rice, who pulled off at least four fine saves in an impressive all-round display.
Michael Poke is still nursing the thigh strain which kept him out through pre-season and probably will do for another ten days.
Knill admitted that he'd rather his own goalie hadn't been quite so busy, but visiting manager Neal Ardley, in an admirably sanguine post-match interview, said: "A draw might have been close to a fair result because we didn't completely control the game."
United had five players making their debuts.
A sixth, striker Karl Hawley, joined the fray in the second half.
And a seventh and eighth, summer signings Elliot Benyon and Jordan Chapell, played after appearing for the club on loan last season.
Most of the debutants did well, notably Courtney Cameron on the right wing, as well as Dale Tonge at right-back and Krystian Pearce at centre-back.
It was a big ask for 20-year-old loanee Callum Ball to hit the ground running after only two training sesssions.
But the young Derby County centre-forward put in a good shift alongside the busy Benyon, and he went close to a goal in the second half, hitting the post with one drive and inches away from finishing Chapell's cross-shot with another.
"It was so important not to lose," said Knill. "We did OK, but we can and we will be better."
Torquay United (4-4-2): Rice; Tonge (N Thompson 90), Pearce, Downes, Nicholson; Cameron (Chapell 77), Mansell, Harding, Bodin; Benyon (Hawley 68), Ball; subs not used – Lathrope, Cruise, Sullivan, C Thompson (gk).
AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Worner; Fuller, Frampton, Bennett, Kennedy; Francomb (Arthur 68), Pell, Sweeney, Porter (Sheringham 68); L Moore, Smith (Midson 68); subs not used – S Moore, Fenlon, Strutton, Brown (gk).
Bookings: United - Pearce (foul 45), Downes (delaying throw-in 72).
Referee: Tim Robinson (W. Sussex).
Attendance: 3,441 (772 Dons fans).