Reaction from the manager after defeat to Scunthorpe
Neal Ardley felt that refereeing decisions cost his side a point after AFC Wimbledon’s spirited second-half performance just came up short.
Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal said that referee Dean Whitestone had got it wrong by failing to award his side two penalties.
“I’m disgusted by the man in the middle,” said Neal. “Tyrone Barnett in the first-half has had his legs taken away from him. He has been flattened by a player who has hooked the ball away, but only after he had gone through the back of our centre-forward. It was more of a penalty than theirs. Then late in the game Dominic Poleon tried to get onto a ball in the box and their right-back did not play the ball, but the man. It is a blatant penalty. Both teams are disappointed with the performance of the referee, but unfortunately it has cost us tonight. I’ve watched the footage back like I always do before I come out and talk about it.”
Neal was full of praise for his side’s gallant second-half fightback, but he added that his players must tighten up at the back against good teams in League One.
“I challenged them at half-time and said that they could either lose the game 4-0 or do the club proud by getting themselves back into the game. They did everything bar get something from the match. Something had to change at half-time and we decided to go a certain way. We tried to win the midfield and dominate them. The effort, intensity, and spirit in the second-half did us proud.
“I did say to the players that if we concede goals like we are at the moment we are chasing games all the time. The season is not going to get any easier and we have work to do. It was another decent performance in a lot of ways, but we need to start picking up points.”
Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Darius Charles, plus extended highlights, will follow tomorrow.