AFC Wimbledon 1 Cambridge United 2
Neil Ardley rued a guilt edge miss from Adebayo Akinfenwa as Cambridge United ended The Dons’ eight-match unbeaten run at Kingsmeadow.
The 32-year-old striker fired wide from close range with the scores level and 30 seconds later Liam Hughes smashed home the winner for The U’s.
Ardley admits he was disappointed with how his side responded after going 2-1 down but ultimately Akinfenwa’s miss proved costly.
“Bayo missed a great chance that you’d expect him to put away and 30 seconds later they go up the other end and its 2-1 to them,” he said.
“If we had gone ahead at that time it would have given us something to hold on to and we might have seen the game out, but those 30 seconds transformed the game.
“What was poor from us though was the way we responded to going behind, we lost our shape and stopped passing and lost our bravery as we chased the game.”
The Dons made a flying start and went ahead after just 19 seconds through striker Matt Tubbs.
The Bournemouth loanee latched onto a long ball forward to round keeper Chris Dunn and fire home his ninth league goal of the season.
But the visitors drew level 11 minutes later thanks to former Don Kwesi Appiah. The Crystal Palace loanee curled a sublime shot from the edge of the box past James Shea in the Wimbledon goal.
The game then turned just before the hour as Akinfenwa somehow fired wide from close range after Greg Taylor slipped in the box.
And the hosts were made to regret that miss less than a minute later when Sullay Kaikai’s free-kick was met by Hughes who saw his first effort blocked before smashing home the rebound.
Defeat means The Dons stay 16th in the table and Ardley concedes it’s a bitter pill to swallow after his side made the perfect start to the game.
He added: “You go one up and think that’s a great platform to build from.
“Up until the winner we handled their attackers quite well, pressed and had chances of our own. It was a tight, evenly matched game but it swung within that pivotal minute.”