Ardley fumes as AFC Wimbledon twice let lead slip against Tranmere

AFC Wimbledon coach Neal Ardley was disappointed after seeing his side throw away a lead twice to draw with Tranmere Rovers at Kingsmeadow.

AFC Wimbledon started well and Jack Smith struck early but Armand Gnanduillet restored parity. Adebayo Akinfenwa then scored his eighth goal of the season to restore the Dons lead.

Rovers would not be denied though, and Gnanduillet 25 yard effort left Ardley reflecting on what might have been.

He said: “It’s tough because we did the best that we could. We scrapped and fought for everything. We’ve got a point and it should have been three after the first-half.

“We’re disappointed that we let the lead slip and that we didn’t really get going again in the second-half, but I think there were a lot of positives to take from it.”

Even though Ardley was left ruing the Dons inability to hold on to a lead, he would have been pleased to see defender Smith scoring his first goal for the club which came courtesy of a deft chip.

Loanee Gnanduillet replied with a tame 25 yard effort that somehow managed to creep inside the post.

The game looked like going into the interval all square, before powerful striker Akinfenwa helped the Dons regain the lead guiding a header past the despairing dive of Owain Fon Williams.

But the impressive Gnanduillet scored his second of the night in the 65th minute with a towering header ensuring the spoils were shared between both League 2 teams.

The draw leaves Wimbledon without a win in three games and Ardley was not happy with the way his team defended in the build up to the equalising goal.

He said: “You are looking to protect your lead, but it meant we dropped a lot deeper to deal with their big lads.

“Even though they had good spells, it was a set-piece that did us and that’s disappointing because we work hard on those.”

Ardley will hope his team cut out some of those mistakes and work their way up the table when they face Northampton Town next weekend.

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