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League Two

Ardley hails best display yet

1 September 2013

Neal Ardley labelled AFC Wimbledon's 2-0 victory over Fleetwood as his side's best performance since he took over as manager.

Harry Pell opened the scoring with a penalty that sent Scott Davies the wrong way after Mark Roberts handled a corner from George Francomb in the 43rd minute.

Michael Smith doubled the lead shortly afterwards on the cusp of half-time after a deflection fell kindly for the on-loan Charlton striker to tuck away his second goal of the campaign.

The Dons have now won all three of their home games this season and Ardley, who took charge last October, was delighted with the display.

"That's probably the best performance since I've been here," he said.

"We thought they would play 4-3-3 and they must have looked at our last couple of games and thought there's goals there, rightly so, and went 4-4-2.

"We quickly changed a few things tactically before we went out and full credit to the boys for doing that.

"We'll look to freshen it up mid-week, there's a lot of tired bodies, a lot of players who have played every game and we have a really tough September coming up. York and Chesterfield are tough away games, and Burton at home, it's a tough schedule.

"We'll have a look and see what we can do and try to freshen it up.

"We have one or two players come off the bench who've done really well so if we can let them go out and stake their claim and get some minutes we will.

"Everyone will get their chance over the course of the season and everyone will play games."

For Fleetwood, it was a first loss on the road this season and their second defeat in three games after losing to Burton two weeks ago.

But while the Cod Army were second best for much of the match, manager Graham Alexander believed the game turned on the penalty decision - a call he claimed referee Ian Williamson had got wrong.

"It was the wrong decision, simple as," he said. "It wasn't a penalty, it was not deliberate handball.

"It struck him hard, there's no chance it was deliberate. Mark is an experienced lad, he won't handle the ball in a stupid situation like that. Maybe I'm wrong, but we wouldn't have got it at the other end.

"We got kicked in the teeth twice in quick succession but I feel we had to respond better in the second-half. I know how gutting it is to play well and go two down.

"They were fighting for their lives last year but I know what their mentality is. I think we should be fighting for our lives, we should be. That's how I see it. We're not Manchester United so we have to fight as much as anyone else and more to make sure we're competitive."

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