Resilient AFC Wimbledon delight Ardley by beating Barnet and joining scrap for play-off places

Barnet 1-2 AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley praised his side’s resilience after beating Barnet at The Hive to close to within a point of the play-offs.

Goals from Lyle Taylor and substitute Ade Azeez gave Wimbledon a two-goal advantage before Mathew Stevens pulled one back for Barnet with three minutes remaining.

Wimbledon had to stay strong against a determined Barnet and managed to secure their sixth win in seven League Two games.

Ardley said: “I am delighted. I thought this was going to be a real tough one and the first half was really difficult.

“We had to stay strong, but their goalkeeper made three or four great saves and in the second half he has made another three or four.

“We felt at 1-0 up that we could have been four or five ahead with the chances we had. Getting the second goal was vital, it was brilliant play from George Francomb to set it up.

“Then we made it difficult for ourselves in the last five minutes, but we stayed firm.”

Taylor scored the opening goal a minute into the second half, netting his third in two games after a long ball by Ryan Sweeney.

In the 85th minute, substitute Azeez extended their lead, tapping home from Francomb’s cross.

Barnet pulled one back through Stevens in the 87th minute from close range but Wimbledon held on for all three points.

Wimbledon’s top scorer Taylor, who has 13 in the league including eight in his last nine games, saluted the half-time advice Ardley gave him that helped him score score 43 seconds into the second half.

Taylor said: “I don’t think we picked up enough second balls and at half time the manager said ‘you have to be more on the front foot’.

“The two in the middle up front had to anticipate more and we did that. We came out and you saw that with my goal.

“I anticipated their guy missing the ball and somehow I managed to scoop it in! I don’t know what the goalie was doing, but I will take it.”

Wimbledon next face Carlisle at home on Tuesday night, who sit two places and two points behind the hosts but have a game in hand.

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

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