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“We knew we had to come here and fight”

Reaction to a resounding victory

20 August 2023


“We knew we had to come here and fight”

Reaction to a resounding victory

20 August 2023

Johnnie Jackson couldn’t fault the efforts of our players on Saturday afternoon as the Dons defeated Sutton United 3-0 in the South London derby.

The stakes as always were considerably high for this meeting between two local rivals, with big performances needed if we were to come away with a positive result.

And it was an assignment that we passed with flying colours as Ryan Johnson, Harry Pell and James Tilley all got on the scoresheet to blow our hosts away as we claimed the early season bragging rights.

Here our manager reflects on the manner of the victory and highlights the contributions of our three goalscorers.

Watch the full interview below.


I thought we were outstanding. We knew we’d have to come here, fight, block, tackle, run and match them physically before anything else. Our players knew they were in a proper game, a proper derby and they knew what it means to the Club.


I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Rob (Tuvey), Terry (Skiverton) and Bazyo (Ashley Bayes) for the tireless work they do on those situations. Offensively and defensively to make us solid. They do our homework on the opposition so that we can try and create opportunities.

We know we’ve got great delivery with the boys putting it on the money. I feel like we should be scoring more from those situations. It’s nice to get off the mark today, Johno has got his first one and he’ll tell you that I’ve been on at him as I think he can score more. But we’re not going to complain too much today.


I’m not a genius or anything! Pelly takes the credit but I just told him a little story as he was going on the pitch about the time I scored in exactly the same scenario. I scored with my first touch and I said to him, “have you got that in your locker?” He said, “yeah I’ve got it gaffer!” He duly obliged – it was a mad one really, you couldn’t make it up!

That’s why he came running over to us, because we’d had that little moment. What a threat in the box Pelly is, it was a great finish after he got free in the box.


He was outstanding again. Both our wingers are doing the hard yards out of possession which in turn is giving us opportunities to get them on the ball higher up the pitch. Whenever he’s in those situations I want him to create.

When he shifts it onto his left foot – with his technique and his quality – you know he’s going to score a lot of goals. I’m delighted with that one.


I think it will (do us good). We’ve had an unbelievably tough pre-season and the lads look so fit but since the season started we’ve had a midweek game every week. We’ve got another one coming up after getting through in the cup.

We won’t take our foot off in terms of the work this week but we will look after the lads physically in the first part of the week before we hammer the preparations for Forest Green.

PICS: Stephen Flynn (Pro Sports Images)

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