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Neal Ardley salutes AFC Wimbledon’s battling qualities after narrow victory against Portsmouth

23 March 2015

Neal Ardley praised the battling qualities of his side after AFC Wimbledon secured a narrow 1-0 home victory against Portsmouth.

Pompey defender Ben Chorley grabbed the only goal of the game, but it came at the wrong end as his wild swing from a Craig Tanner cross ended up going into this own net, and the result moved the Dons above Pompey in the Sky Bet League 2 table.

Matt Tubbs was denied by Wimbledon goalkeeper Ross Worner just before half-time but it was the home side who looked more likely to grab another goal as Adebayo Akinfenwa headed against the crossbar and Adebayo Azeez missed when clean through.

But despite failing to add a second goal there was no dampening manager Ardley's mood.

"It doesn't matter how you win, you just need to win," he said. "It's been a tough three weeks, with the injuries to James Shea, David Connelly's retirement, Dave Wingfield gets called back, Callum Kennedy and George Francombe get injured.

"And I fancied us to win despite all that. It's typical Wimbledon style, when going gets tough, we respond.

"The first kick Ross Worner took the ball sat up in the wind and we didn't realise how strong the wind was against us and at that point I'd take 0-0 at half-time, because I knew they'd keep us pinned in.

"It was tough, we were feeding on scraps and we just had to stay in the game.

"It was a great response at the end of a tough week. We played really well at Mansfield, deserved three points and came out with none. There was the soft penalty at Exeter, so to end it with three points was perfect.

"I'm delighted for Craig Tanner. People have talked about the fact that he hasn't scored and that maybe he's not a League Two player, but he showed he has qualities much higher than League 2.”​

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