Dons boss Neal can Ardley believe it
NEAL ARDLEY admitted he nearly gave up hope before AFC Wimbledon staged a fantastic comeback from two goals down to bring Scunthorpe’s unbeaten start to a halt.
Scunthorpe looked to be cruising after goals from Sam Winnall and Chris Iwelumo either side of a missed penalty from Charlie Sheringham propelled them into a half-time lead.
Michael Smith and Harry Pell hauled the Dons back into the game before Chris Arthur’s lastgasp strike completed an astonishing comeback.
Ardley said: “We worked hard all week and for the first 15 minutes it was just like we worked on but all that stopped when we conceded. When we missed the penalty you start to think it won’t be your day.
“At half-time I challenged the players to come off the pitch with nothing left and the boys did everything we asked for which was fantastic.
“We got some fresh legs on and sometime substitutions work and sometimes they don’t but with 15 minutes to go you just need to get players on with energy and it was a great finish from Chris.”
Wimbledon started well and should have been in front early on but Sheringham missed two great chances to open the scoring.
The visitors made them pay after 16 minutes when Winnall bundled in from close range after keeper Ross Worner had blocked Iwelumo’s shot.
Sheringham blew a golden opportunity to level midway through the first half after Niall Canavan was penalised for handball in the box when his penalty was well saved by Sam Slocombe.
And Iwelumo responded with a thumping header from Andy Welsh’s cross after half an hour.
But the hosts came flying out of the blocks in the second half and Smith got the ball rolling with a thumping low drive into the bottom corner.
With 15 minutes left Pell rifled in the equaliser to set up a grandstand finish.
And Arthur duly delivered with three minutes to go when he fired home from fellow substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce’s pass to leave Iron boss Brian Laws seething.
“We didn’t defend well as a team for the whole game and we were stretched,” Laws said.“Even though we took a two-goal lead they were in control.
“After they scored the first goal it was clear we became completely dismantled as a team.We know that teams will have their moments but it’s very disappointing as you don’t want to throw a twogoal lead away.
“Every goal we conceded was disappointing. We had enough bodies for them not to score but we didn’t get a foot in and that’s not good enough.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footymad.net/