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Neal: an important point

22 February 2017

Manager's reaction after draw in Kent

Neal Ardley felt it was vital to secure a point at Gillingham, but he was disappointed with the manner of goals conceded in a 2-2 draw.

Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player after Andy Barcham’s goal denied Gills, Neal said: “It was an important point, it was important not to lose, but we did want the win. We tried to get the win and play positive stuff. We have another tough one on Saturday because Walsall are in great form at the moment. You have to be brave and really go for it and I thought we did that in the second-half.

“We tweaked a couple of things in the second-half and we went brave to win the game. Even when we got back to 2-2 we were still trying to win the game, perhaps a bit too much. It’s always good for a team to know that they have goals in them. Sometimes if you cannot create chances and you don’t know if you are going to score, it can be tough. Knowing that we have created loads of chances and could have scored more in the last two games is a positive, but it would be nice to score once and win a game. At the moment, we are conceding some silly ones.”

Neal summed up his disappointment with the goals conceded on the night, but he felt that referee Darren Deadman should have disallowed Gillingham’s second for a foul on Sean Kelly.

“On Saturday I could not fault too much that we did,” added Neal. “We limited them to very little as it was a deflected free-kick for the first and then someone got out-jumped from a set-piece. There was not too much we could do about that, but the goals we conceded tonight were poor. You cannot allow someone to waltz into your box, throw a shimmy, and then hit it into the bottom corner. That’s not good enough by anyone’s standards. We cannot keep conceding two goals and hoping we will score more.

“Their second goal was actually a foul on Sean Kelly. We had thought it was offside, but it wasn’t. Having seen it back, it was a foul. We are getting those little things against us at the moment that make a difference. We had enough chances to win it and enough chances to have a lead to hold onto. At the end, we were so gung-ho that we almost lost it. We need to be a bit better when we have not got the ball.”

Extended highlights from Gillingham, plus Neal’s full post-match reaction, will feature from 12 noon on Wednesday.

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