AFC Wimbledon move into play-off places after win against 10-man Carlisle


Neal Ardley was full of praise for his side as they secured their seventh win in eight games and moved up to fifth in League Two last night. 

Centre-back Paul Robinson emerged as the unlikely hero scoring a second-half winner against Carlisle to boost Wimbledon’s play-off credentials.

The visitors were down to 10 men for the last forty minutes after goalkeeper Mark Gillespie was sent off for a professional foul on Tom Elliott.

Despite their man advantage the Dons were on the back-foot for the closing stages and did well to hold on for all three points.

Ardley said: “We made some silly decisions at times, but you could see the character of the boys and their fitness levels.

“The main thing is that everyone could see tonight that we have a team playing their hearts out and giving everything for this club.

“I said we wanted to be excited by these games. Barnet have beaten Portsmouth tonight and that showed what a good result it was for us on Saturday.

“If Carlisle play like they did tonight for the rest of this season they will not lose many games.

“Oxford I expect to be a slightly different game and they had a great result tonight as well.

“Let the fans be excited by it and we will give it our best shot.”

Carlisle captain  Michael Raynes came closest to levelling the scoring when his half-volley seven minutes from time crashed off the post.

Ardley commended his players’ resilience after they kept out the visitors to keep their impressive run alive.

He said: “Sometimes it’s not easy. We played with 10 men against Bristol Rovers and they could not break us down.

“Carlisle made a change by going with three at the back.

“When you play against that you want to get your wingers high and wide, but we had kind of got into ‘fight-mode’ by that point because of the way Carlisle make you scrap for every ball.

“Everything we had done at half time to try and get a foothold in the game and penetrate them was evident in the first five minutes of the second half.

“But when we got the goal and the extra man we carried on in ‘fight-mode’ and it was like we did not have a spare man. We did not have enough width and we started to hang onto what we had.

“They were really brave, they were always a threat, and they pushed wide men high so that they played with a front four. They showed great energy and I think they were really good.

“I want to give them credit. Though we lacked quality, we showed a lot of character on the night.”

Image courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV via YouTube, with thanks

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