Ardley eyeing Liverpool clash after thumping Exeter victory

AFC Wimbledon 4 Exeter 1

Neal Ardley sees next weekend’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool as a ‘tactical challenge’ after his Wimbledon side rounded off 2014 in style against Exeter.

Matt Tubbs’ early goal, an own goal from Christian Ribeiro and second-half strikes from Ade Azeez and substitute Bayo Akinfenwa secured the three points at Kingsmeadow.

Liam Sercombe bagged an injury-time consolation for Exeter, but the win lifts Wimbledon to 11th in League Two ahead of the eagerly-anticipated match against Liverpool.

Ardley said: “I have some selection headaches going into the Liverpool game but we just need to keep this form going now.

“The team for that game won’t be picked by who played well these past two games, it will be picked on who is best for the jobs I need to give them in a really good game.

“I don’t see the Liverpool game as the biggest of my career, I see it as an exciting game, as a tactical challenge but I will enjoy it, more so probably than going into these games.”

A flowing Dons move was crowned by Tubbs’ 12th league goal of the season to give Wimbledon a deserved lead after eight minutes on Saturday.

Ribeiro then diverted Sean Rigg’s cross into his own net after a scramble in the Exeter goalmouth two minutes after the interval.

As Akinfenwa prepared to come on for Azeez with twenty minutes remaining, the ex-Charlton man scored a wonderful solo effort to secure the three points with his final contribution.

Akinfenwa made it 4-0 with five minutes remaining, his right-footed effort following good work from Harry Pell before Sercombe’s late goal.

“We’re in a good place, we know we have blips but I thought the energy and the desire in the second half was brilliant,” said Ardley.

“I’m not sure it is the performance of the season, I thought we were lucky at half time to be 1-0 up and I have to say I think Exeter are a good side.

“First half we struggled a little bit and I had to change the shape at half time and in the second half we had more energy, but whenever you win by a high score it is because the opposition are throwing caution to the wind and we were ruthless in our finishing.”

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