ARDLEY’S FUMING AT SHOWING
NEAL ARDLEY labelled his AFC Wimbledon side unprofessional as they tumbled out to Non-League Forest Green Rovers.
The club who took Liverpool so close last season were booted out at the first attempt as Elliott Frear stunned the League Two Dons in the third minute of time added on.
The game look destined for a replay next Tuesday but the winger had other ideas to fire the National League leaders into the second round.
He cut in from the right and unleashed a beauty on his left - just as his manager told him to minutes earlier.
Wimbledon initially leveled through Callum Kennedy’s second goal in two games, having gone behind when Darren Carter made the most of Dannie Bulman’s error.
Ardley wasn’t happy his side made headlines for the wrong reasons this season and he said: “We were unprofessional at key moments.
“We came out really anxious and in the second half we couldn’t get our game together.
“There seemed such a good buzz about the place, I just don’t know what happened to us.
“We found that baffling on the bench I have got to say.
“I’m gutted, really gutted.We knew from last season how good these FA Cup runs are and the power of good they can do and now we’re out. I really am gutted and I want to say sorry to the fans.
“The FA Cup does this to you, but a lack of professionalism cost us more than anything. At both ends of the pitch we were lacking.”
The upset looked on from the sixth minute. Bulman, the last person you would expect to go to pieces in his own box, unravelled. Keanu Marsh-Brown played in Carter and the former Birmingham City man was decisive.
So was Kennedy, the Dons left back shunted into midfield after injuries to other wingers. After captain Barry Fuller and Lyle Taylor combined, Kennedy thrashed his shot in off the crossbar, too much power for Steve Arnold. Given too much time, but you couldn’t argue with the quality of his finish.
Panic over? No way. Wimbledon wouldn’t awaken and in the second half they just couldn’t get out of second gear.
Frear punished them with seconds left on the clock - just like his boss told him to.
Forest Green manager Ady Pennock said: “I told Elliott with five minutes to go to get the ball, cut in, have a go and get a goal - I told him if he did that, he’ll be on the telly tonight.
“I did tell him top corner, so he didn’t quite get that bit right! “It looked like it may be a replay but he’s come up with the goods and it’s a wonderful win for us. We were disciplined and defended well. We’re delighted.”
GET CARTER: Forest Green’s Darren Carter celebrates scoring their first goal
TOP DOGS: Scorers Elliott Frear and Darren Carter
STAR MAN AARRAN RACINE Forest