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League Two

Brave Neal Ardley hails AFC Wimbledon

21 April 2014

An attacking formation reaped rewards for AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley as his side fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 at Plymouth Argyle.

Wimbledon fell behind to skipper Conor Hourihane's brilliant 25-yard finish in the sixth minute but bounced back to level through target man Jack Midson in the 42nd minute.

Man of the match Kwesi Appiah, who teed up Midson, raced away to score the 59th-minute winner after latching on to Tom Richards' pass down the left as Wimbledon countered at speed.

In stoppage time Ross Worner turned substitute Maxine Blanchard's goalbound shot on to the bar and over as the Pilgrims lost again.

Ardley said: "I thought we were excellent. We went brave we thought they would play three at the back, they normally do at home, so we played with a front three and tried to play up against them.

"To be fair we fell behind to their first shot of the game, from 25 yards, a great goal if sloppy from our part. We didn't feel in too much danger after that in the first half and before we scored we could have had a couple.

"I thought we started really well and then you find yourself 1-0 down which we have done very much this season. I think we have probably got the record for coming back but that shows character.

"We changed shape three times in that game, we started 4-3-3, went 4-3-1-2 in the second half and started to dominate the game and then they went 4-4-2 and so we went three at the back to match up to the big strikers they brought on.

"We saw it out, Ross makes a great save at the end but it would have been an injustice if we had lost."

Plymouth boss John Sheridan fumed: "Obviously it's another poor result. We are just very flat at the moment and I don't know what the reason is.

"Even though we got off to a good start, a great goal from Conor. I just think one or two people are ready for their summer holidays but it could be a very long holiday for some people.

"It's very difficult to put your finger on it and I have got to reflect but from the moment we got into the play-offs we have been a different team.

"I have just asked the players in there 'what's different? What got us in there?' I just think it's to do with mental toughness and you have to be strong as players.

"I have said it before and will say it again: I expected us to push-on.

"We haven't changed a lot. We've got the same formation, same players who did really well to get us in the top seven. But since we got in there it's just unbelievable how players have just not performed like they had been.

"I felt a lot better last season at this stage of the season when we were fighting against relegation than I do now because it's been really disappointing.

"I can only apologise because I thought we had good enough players to get into the play-offs but for some reason we haven't and that's something I have got to look at."


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