AK­IN­FENWA IS ARD­LEY’S HERO

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Smith

ADE­BAYO Ak­in­fenwa has had his crit­ics this sea­son but, after he scored his third goal in just a week, Wim­ble­don man­ager Neal Ard­ley be­lieves he’s proved his doubters wrong.

After bang­ing in two goals against Bur­ton, Ak­in­fenwa scored the only goal of the game after 27 min­utes to hand Wim­ble­don another three points; this time against More­cambe.

Ard­ley re­vealed he had been warned in the sum­mer that Ak­in­fenwa was not ca­pa­ble of play­ing two games in week but after de­liv­er­ing the goods for the sec­ond time in five days, the Wim­ble­don boss in­sists he’s chuffed with his new ad­di­tion.

“A lot of peo­ple told me that he couldn’t play two games in a week when I signed him, told me he won’t last the sea­son but I haven’t got a bad word to say about the guy,” said Ard­ley.

“I tell him when he needs to raise it and he re­sponds and that’s what he likes. He’s un­playable if you want to go one ver­sus one with him.

“I’m not look­ing at po­si­tions; I can only get the team func­tion­ing well.

“We’re try­ing our best and we’re not per­fect by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion but we’re work­ing re­ally hard to get the team to do what’s ef­fec­tive in League Two games.

“It was a good win, it was dif­fer­ent from Tues­day but we knew that would be the case and we needed to learn to dig in, stay in the game and do all the nitty gritty that League Two de­mands of a team like us.

“Prob­a­bly the only crit­i­cism of the day would be that we didn’t go two or three goals up when we had our chances to score.”

Ak­in­fenwa has been strug­gling for goals and form at the start of the cam­paign but he fol­lowed up his brace against Bur­ton in mid­week by scor­ing again for the Dons.

He opened the scor­ing against More­cambe after 27 min­utes – the gi­ant striker head­ing home an Alan Ben­nett cross per­fectly from six yards.

More­cambe’s best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute, a well struck Ryan Wil­liams 25 yard free kick was pushed over the cross­bar by Dons’ keeper James Shea.

Ak­in­fenwa could have dou­bled his tally for the day after the break if it wasn’t for an im­pres­sive div­ing save from Roche after the bulky for­mer Swansea for­ward shot pow­er­fully on the turn.

More­cambe man­ager Jim Bent­ley said: “I’m ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed but we’ve got make sure that we keep be­liev­ing in our­selves, keep work­ing hard and make sure we put the ball in the back of the net when the chances come along.

“Ak­in­fenwa is a hand­ful, I know my­self, he scored dou­ble fig­ures in League One last year and you get what you pay for.

“He may not be ev­ery­one’s cup of tea but as I say I’ve had a few bat­tles with him my­self and he’s a hand­ful.

“He’s a dif­fi­cult player to play against and one of the top strik­ers at this level.”

PIC­TURES: Paul Wil­latts

SMILES BET­TER: Wim­ble­don striker Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa after scor­ing the Dons win­ning goal DUEL: Dons’ Sammy Moore gets to grips with Paul Mullin

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