Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley expressed his disappointment with the referee’s performance after Wimbledon failed to make the most of their superiority at Mansfield today.
Speaking during an interview with Dons Player, Neal felt that Wimbledon shaded it in terms of chances created, but a number of first-half bookings by referee Ross Joyce affected the flow of the game.
“In the first half I thought we controlled the game,” said Neal. “We went 1-0 up and I thought we looked really good, but in the last 15 minutes of the first half we got caught up with so many decisions against us by the man in the middle. The frustrations of our players boiled over and we stopped playing then. I had to calm the boys down at half-time as there were a lot of frustrated people.
“I had a feeling at half-time – and I said it to the referee – that he would send off one of our players. If you book players for things like that you will end up with eight players on the pitch. We came out in the second half and got back our composure and we became a threat again. I thought that we were the better team and we looked like scoring more than them.”
Neal added that his side’s defensive resilience pleased him after a battling point at a venue where the Dons had previously been beaten twice in succession.
“I never felt that we were in any trouble at the back,” Neal said. “I thought our back four were commanding. We had some great chances to take the lead again, but it will be a game remembered for being spoiled by stoppages. I am kind of disappointed to draw, but a point is good, particularly if we can go and get something next week (at Yeovil Town).”
Neal said that he did not have a good enough view of Lyle Taylor’s sending off to form a definitive conclusion and he will review the video evidence in due course.
.The full interview with Neal will feature on Dons Player tomorrow, along with reaction from captain Barry Fuller