Ardley delighted by AFC Wimbledon performance despite defeat by ‘hanging on for dear life’ Bristol City

Bristol City 2 AFC Wimbledon 1

AFC Wimbledon boss Neil Ardley was full of praise for his side as he saw them push Bristol City all the way in last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Aaron Wilbraham struck two quick-fire goals with 17 minutes remaining, with substitute George Francomb’s brilliant 25 yard effort proving to be a consolation.

Ardley said: “I think as a team we can take a lot of heart from this.

“As a club I look at it and think we did really well. I would like to think that Bristol City would not have had too many games as hard as that at home this season.”

Ardley made a number of changes from the side that drew with York City on Saturday.

Matt Tubbs was recalled with Adebayo Akinfenwa making way as Alan Bennett started in defence.

On-loan QPR midfielder Frankie Sutherland was also on the bench despite an impressive debut.

Bristol City made the stronger start as they looked to show why they’re top of League One, creating a number of chances.

Wimbledon enjoyed a fair amount of possession themselves and came close, with the lively Adebayo Azeez firing just wide.

“I am absolutely gutted because I wanted to get through to the next round. I hate losing, but I am proud of the performance.”

Applying the pressure in the second half, City eventually made the breakthrough as Wilbraham slotted home, before doubling the advantage four minutes later.

Akinfenwa came on in the 70th minute, his knock down fell to Francomb and his brilliant strike arrowed into the net via the post, even as Wimbledon fell to defeat.

Ardley said: “I am absolutely gutted because I wanted to get through to the next round. I hate losing, but I am proud of the performance. We have to make sure though the next few weeks are positive in terms of results.”

However the Wimbledon boss praised his players for carrying out his game plan.

“I’m proud of the boys, I always do my homework on the opposition and I felt if we played with one striker it would have been very hard for us,” he said.

“To have a team top of League One hanging on for dear life at the end shows how well we played.”

Image courtesy of AFCWimbledonTV, via YouTube, with thanks

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