Manager's post-match reaction
Neal Ardley said that AFC Wimbledon were on the wrong end of decisions from the referee after today’s defeat at Milton Keynes.
Man-in-the-middle Geoff Eltringham’s decision to award a penalty to the hosts proved crucial, but the manager felt his side were harshly treated overall in the game.
Speaking during his post-match interview, Neal said: “It was tough out there, I felt we were on the end of a lot of decisions against us, one being the penalty. It is hard, it is not an excuse, but I felt there was a massive swing towards the home team in terms of decisions. Our team got more frustrated the longer the game went on. In the end, we have come up short and we will have to dust ourselves down and go again.
“It (the penalty decision) was a tough call and it was a brave decision to give it. I cannot stand here and say it was or it wasn’t. It was a coming together and as with most decisions on the day, it went their way.”
Neal felt that AFC Wimbledon were far from at their best and his players started the game too slowly.
“I did not think we performed as well as we can,” said Neal. “We were a bit tepid in the first-half and a bit cagey. They played deep when we had the ball so that our pace was not allowed to hurt them. We were loose on the ball on a pitch that was sharp and fast with the rain. We did not play in the right areas. In the second-half we tried to get a little bit more width and be more direct. We had some moments, but we did not create anything.
“Sometimes you have to say it was one of those days. We could not open them up and a penalty decision has decided the match in their favour.”
An interview with Lyle Taylor, Neal’s reaction, and extended highlights will follow tomorrow on Dons Player.