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Neal hails thrilling win

21 February 2015

Manager delighted after Dons edge out Luton

Neal Ardley praised the character of his side for defying a second-half Luton bombardment to earn victory today.

Neal described Wimbledon’s first half performance as “breathtaking”, but it was a different story after the break as Luton stormed back to make it 2-2, before David Connolly’s dramatic winner.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal said: “It was a classic game of two halves. In the first half we were brilliant and we could have been 4-0 up. We hit the woodwork twice, but it did not fall to one of our players. Then they hit the woodwork a minute before half-time and ended up scoring.

“I thought we dominated the first half, but John Still got them at it. He changed their shape a little bit and they caused us problems. We could not manage that and we conceded a car crash of a second goal. We had to really dig in, but it was tough because the momentum had swung their way.

We decided to be brave and change to a 4-3-3.” “We are delighted with the team. We showed good character in the second half. People may moan about it and say that we did not do this or that in the second half, but it was hard. They are good at what they do and we struggled to handle it. With 20 minutes to go we made a few substitutions and that brought us back into it. Alfie Potter was really good in the first half, but he was tiring near the end because he hasn’t played much lately.

That approach was rewarded with Connolly’s dramatic winner and Neal was delighted for the experienced striker, particular after a tough last year for him.

“I love having David around the place and the lads have got so much respect for him,” added Neal. “He rolled back the years and it’s great to have an option like that. We had wanted to stretch the game so we put Ade Azeez on to utilise his pace near the end and that worked. Then David did what he does best. He reads those types of moments and I’m delighted for him. He has had a tough year in his football career and hopefully he will really enjoy this.”

The picture above shows Alfie Potter receiving the congratulations of his team-mates after his opening goal (photograph by Pro Sports Images).

  Dons Player subscribers can now watch Neal’s full post-match reaction and interviews with David Connolly and Alfie Potter will feature tomorrow. 


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