Ardley proud of defenders as first clean sheet of the season continues to build AFC Wimbledon momentum

AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Barnet

Neal Ardley was delighted with AFC Wimbledon’s resilience in their first ever win against London derby rivals Barnet at Kingsmeadow on Saturday.

Lyle Taylor scored his first league goal for the Dons in the seventh minute, and despite George Francomb missing a penalty, they wrapped up the win in injury time through Sean Rigg.

Barnet had just one shot on target and Ardley praised a defensive display that gave them their first clean sheet this season.

“They defended for their lives and it was an ugly game of football,” he said.

“I’m proud of them. They were tired. They were at the end of a long week but they stuck with it.

“When teams are booming it and they’re just pushing it up with nothing to lose you’ve got to defend for your lives.”

Ardley did though warn against complacency when they take an early lead.

“We’ve started all our games really well,” he added.

“We’ve scored a lot of goals in the first half. The worry is that we have chances to put it to bed and then you come in at half time 1-0 and you know what’s coming second half.”

Ardley’s only change to the side that lined up against Northampton on Tuesday reaped rewards as Taylor netted with a superb strike into the far corner.

The Dons could have strengthened their advantage in the 32nd minute when Adebayo Azeez was brought down inside the box by Bees’ defender Michael Nelson, but Francomb’s effort was saved by keeper Max Crocombe.

The Dons continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and Rigg sealed the win in the 94th minute, tapping in from close range.

Wimbledon have now lost just once in their last eight league games and are three points off the play-offs.

They travel to Oxford United on Saturday.

Feature image of Neal Ardley courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV, via Youtube, with thanks

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