Dons boss Neal can Ard­ley be­lieve it

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Perkin

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.footy­

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