AFC Wimbledon off the mark for 2015 as Neal Ardley curtails gung-ho style in favour of points

AFC Wimbledon 2 Accrington Stanley 1

AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley was delighted after his side won for the first time in 2015 to move within five points of the play-offs.

Goals in each half from Sean Rigg and Adebayo Azeez had given Wimbledon a 2-0 lead before Accrington substitute Adam Buxton set up a nervy final few minutes with a late consolation.

Despite the late goal for the visitors, Ardley claimed he was always confident his side would secure the three points.

He said: “I thought it was hard-fought but also reasonably comfortable, I didn’t feel like we were ever going to lose it.

“We played very well last week despite the result, but we were too gung-ho and that’s why we lost the game.

“This week we worked on our balance and shape to make sure we weren’t so open when we went forward so I knew it wouldn’t be free flowing.

“We knew they’d come and do a job on us, but in the end we did everything we needed to win the game.”

The home side went close inside the opening ten minutes through Dannie Bulman, who struck the post with a fierce drive from the edge of the area.

After 30 minutes Accrington had their first meaningful chance as Kal Naismith forced James Shea into a good stop from distance.

The deadlock was broken on 37 minutes as in-form winger Rigg gave the hosts the lead, burying a volley from close range after Matt Macey had parried Craig Tanner’s effort.

Wimbledon’s lead was almost wiped out on 55 minutes as Anthony Barry’s excellent curling effort from 25 yards clattered off the bar, via a brilliant finger-tip save from Shea.

With 18 minutes remaining, Ardley shifted his pack up front by replacing both his forwards with Azeez and David Connolly, and the former made sure of the points as he latched onto a long ball and finished calmly past Macey.

The visitors scored a late consolation as substitute Buxton stabbed home from close range after a scramble in the six-yard box.

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