Ardley bemoans lack of aggression as AFC Wimbledon blow two-goal lead


Neal Ardley returned to the dugout on Good Friday to watch AFC Wimbledon throw away a two-goal lead against Northampton.

An eventless first half saw the teams go in level at the break before the Dons scored twice in two minutes through Sean Rigg and Jake Reeves – both goals set up by the battling of Adebayo Akinfenwa.

But when James Gray netted six minutes after Reeves had doubled the Dons lead, the Cobblers were back in the tie, and, to Ardley’s evident frustration, Gray levelled the scores three minutes later.

The Dons’ boss, who has missed the last game after undergoing surgery, said: “We went 2-0 up, it could have been three, but what cost us was our defending. It’s not good enough and denied us what should have been a nice win.

“I want more aggression in the team, we’re too nice. I want us to have that little bit of steel about us and at 2-0 up we didn’t show that in our defending.”

The Dons’ contrasting form at Kingsmeadow and away from south west London has been a cause for concern for Ardley.

Without a win in nine away games, play-off hopes have faded despite Wimbledon remaining unbeaten at home since January 24.

“At home, our form could take us to top of the league, but our away form is bottom four stuff,” said Ardley.

“We’ve got to win five out of six to give us a chance of the play-offs, we’ll keep going and we’ll try to start that at Dagenham on Monday.

“I want to finish the season strong and we’ll go for the play-offs but if we can’t muster the wins then we’ll aim to reach 60 points.

“If we can finish  in the top 12 then that’s progress and we will look back and think that it hasn’t been a bad season.”

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