Dons boss fum­ing over ref­eree’s re­ac­tion to stop­page-time query

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Brodie

NEAL Ard­ley is not about to let sleep­ing dogs lie af­ter la­belling ref­eree Dar­ren Han­d­ley a liar in the wake of AFC Wim­ble­don’s draw at ten-man Ley­ton Ori­ent.

The home side went head through top scorer Jay Simp­son in the first half be­fore a red card for John Mar­quis re­duced them to ten men, al­low­ing Wim­ble­don to equalise through striker Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa.

How­ever, the of­fi­cials drew com­plaints from both man­agers af­ter with Wim­ble­don boss Ard­ley tak­ing is­sue with the num­ber of stop­pages dur­ing the time added on.

“I was told five min­utes, a min­i­mum of five,” said Ard­ley. “They then add a minute and a half for that sub­sti­tu­tion.

“It was a fur­ther minute for the goal­keeper, so straight away, you’re two and a half min­utes on top of the five. I’ve got my watch on 50 min­utes and 30 sec­onds and for me that’s un­ac­cept­able.

“I told him af­ter and he light­ened it at the end and said he’s got 51 and a half on his watch. He’s lied to me. I will be putting in a re­port.

“I didn’t see the first yel­low, but I think the sec­ond prob­a­bly was.

“When two play­ers go in and one player gets the ball, it’s a foul. We de­served a win, there isn’t any doubt. If we had come away with any­thing other than a draw then it would have been a to­tal farce.”

Af­ter go­ing close with a header early on, Simp­son, who passed a late fit­ness test to start, opened the scor­ing with his 15th goal of the sea­son on ten min­utes.

The league’s top scorer col­lected a Mar­quis pass be­tween two de­fend­ers and slot­ted home with his right foot – but it was Wim­ble­don who fin­ished the half the stronger with a se­ries of cor­ners and halfchances.

The best of th­ese came just af­ter the half hour, but nei­ther Ak­in­fenwa nor Lyle Tay­lor could take ad­van­tage of a scram­ble around the penalty spot.

Sean Rigg, af­ter twist­ing and turn­ing in the area, had a shot blocked as Wim­ble­don failed to find an equal­is­ing goal be­fore half-time.

Straight af­ter the restart, Ge­orge Fran­comb put a free-kick nar­rowly over from 20 yards as the Dons looked to build on their pos­i­tive end to the first 45 min­utes.

Fran­comb then played in Jon Meades on the left whose whipped cross was headed just over by Ak­in­fenwa.

To counter the Don’s new­found at­tack­ing prow­ess, O’s man­ager Ian Hen­don brought on cap­tain and cen­tre-back Mathieu Baudry, who had failed a late fit­ness test on a hip in­jury. Mo­ments later, this change looked un­wise when Mar­quis was sent off for a sec­ond book­able of­fence af­ter col­lid­ing late with Paul Robin­son. And so en­sued 30 min­utes of the Dons prob­ing, with Jake Reeves hav­ing a shot from 25 yards go just over on 76 min­utes.

Ori­ent keeper Alex Cisak made a mem­o­rable save from a Meades header at point-blank range be­fore the equaliser came.

Ak­in­fenwa popped up at the back post to nod in an Ade­bayo Azeez cross as the pres­sure fi­nally told.

Ori­ent boss Hen­don felt his side bat­tled ad­mirably when down to ten men, but was dis­ap­pointed that the sit­u­a­tion arose.

“The send­ing off came just af­ter a sub­sti­tu­tion,” he said. “I’ve got to trust my play­ers when they’re on yel­low cards. I spoke to John [Mar­quis] and said he shouldn’t be making those chal­lenges. He’s got to stay on his feet and not get in­volved and giv­ing the ref­eree any chance of book­ing him again.”

As for the of­fi­ci­at­ing, Hen­don re­mained tight-lipped.

He added: “Ev­ery­one in the ground watched the game to­day. I’m not go­ing to get my­self in trou­ble, so I bet­ter leave it there.

“It was a great fin­ish from Jay. That’s what he does.We didn’t have many other chances. Credit to Wim­ble­don. They’ve worked hard and we were camped in.

“We were 1-0. We knew it was go­ing to be an aerial bom­bard­ment. We were go­ing to put an­other up front, but then the send­ing off. I’ve got to give credit to the play­ers. They were un­der huge amounts of pres­sure and de­fended very well.”


BEAST: Wim­ble­don’s Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa cel­e­brates net­ting the lev­eller with his team­mates

HIGHS AND LOWS: Ref­eree Dar­ren Han­d­ley sends off John Mar­quis and, right, Jobi McAnuff con­grat­u­lates Jay Simp­son on his goal STAR MAN JACK PAYNE Ley­ton


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