A points deduction is possible for Dons
NEAL Ardley admits he kept his Wimbledon players in the dark over a possible points deduction next week.
The Dons face a disciplinary commission on Monday for fielding Jake Nicholson ineligibly last month.
Ardley’s troops succumbed to late first-half goals from Jack Redshaw and Jamie Devitt, alongside a stoppage-time penalty from Padraig Amond, which preserved Morecambe’s League Two status.
And Ardley, who gave goalkeeper Seb Brown a send-off in front of the home fans, acknowledged the impending commission had affected him personally.
“I didn’t let the players know for a number of reasons – I wasn’t sure how some of them would have handled it,” he said.
“It wasn’t something we wanted to be public knowledge and for the opposition to know that a points’ deduction could be the case.
“We’ve talked about every permutation. Between me and the staff in the training we really decided to crank everything up and drive the players home.
“The players have now put two and two together. For instance, some of my team talks – such as before Southend, before Plymouth - they thought I was over the top.
“It’s been flat this week, I think it’s taken its toll. I’m certainly very drained and tired from it.
“We looked at the team we picked and one or two who could play rolls next season and who can’t and you learn a bit all the time.”
Morecambe took the lead on 43 minutes when Redshaw pounced on a loose ball in the area to round Brown and score.
A minute later, he capitalised on Darren Jones’ slip to set up strike-partner Devitt for a close-range finish.
And substitute Amond’s late penalty rounded off the win which prolonged Morecambe’s stay in the division after a first win in ten games.
“It’s been a difficult few weeks for us but you have to take the ups and downs in football. These things will only make me a better manager,” said boss Jim Bentley.
“We’ve got learn from this and we have a lot of young lads who will only get better.
“We’ve been unlucky with injuries but you can’t use that as an excuse. The last three or four weeks have been a nightmare and they’ve really taken their toll on my whole life.
“I’ve not been nice to live with.
“But I’m already looking forward to next week and seeing if we can match our points total from last season which would be an unbelievable achievement for a club like us.”
STAR MAN JACK REDSH