NOW NEAL IS THE NEW TINKER­MAN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By David Marsh

NEAL Ard­ley swal­lowed his pride and ad­mit­ted he got his tac­tics wrong be­fore a switch saw AFC Wim­ble­don over­turn a half-time deficit to beat Mans­field Town.

The Stags opened the scor­ing af­ter just ten min­utes through Matt Green and con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate the first half as the home side strug­gled to play with three in mid­field.

How­ever a quick-fire goal from Lyle Tay­lor in the se­cond half and two more from Jon Meades and Ade­bayo Azeez capped off an im­pres­sive Wim­ble­don fight­back.

Ard­ley opted to start with a 4-3-3 for­ma­tion – an un­usual choice for his Wim­ble­don side – be­fore re­vert­ing to a 4-4-2 sys­tem more fa­mil­iar to the home faith­ful this sea­son.

And the man­ager ad­mit­ted that he had made a mis­take.

He said: “I got it wrong. We had a look at 4-3-3 and in train­ing on Fri­day, they were fan­tas­tic at it. And Tom El­liott has been good in train­ing and been a real hand­ful, so I came away think­ing it could work.

“We then went into the game and it was too at­tack­ing with too many for­ward-think­ing play­ers.

“Then be­fore we knew it a usu­ally very solid de­fence looked a lit­tle bit shaky and there was a lot of space in the middle of the park.

“To be fair to the play­ers, they were a bit dis­jointed in the first half and the rhythm wasn’t there,.

“But in the se­cond half I said that there were no ex­cuses and they all knew their jobs.

“And credit to the boys, they went out and from minute one they were phe­nom­e­nal.”

Green put the vis­i­tors ahead when he tapped the ball home af­ter Dons’ for­mer Arse­nal goal­keeper James Shea failed with an at­tempted punch away.

How­ever a change in for­ma­tion and a re­vi­talised Wim­ble­don came out in the se­cond half and snatched a goal from Tay­lor, when he neatly rolled the ball into the cen­tre of the goal.

Meades then put the home side ahead when he rose high­est to head the ball into the net from a cor­ner.

Then, with just four min­utes re­main­ing, star man Tom El­liott placed a through pass to sub­sti­tute Azeez who gen­tly lifted the ball over vet­eran goal­keeper Brian Jensen to put the game to bed.

“It should have been three, pos­si­bly four at half-time and we’ve come out and started sloppy,” said Mans­field boss Adam Mur­ray.

“If we’re be­ing hon­est that’s been the story of our sea­son.

“We phys­i­cally got dom­i­nated.We came up against three out-and-out six foot plus mon­sters, and we looked like ba­bies.

“If we can dic­tate play like we did in the first half then they wouldn’t have had the op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep launch­ing it down our throats “We need to un­der­stand how we swing it back our way.

“We can’t just keep go­ing into our shell when we don’t get our own way.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sport/ Stu­art Butcher

NICE AND EEZY: Ade Azeez makes it 3-1 to Wim­ble­don

LEV­ELLER: Lyle Tay­lor puts the Dons back on terms

STAR MAN TOM EL­LIOTT Wim­ble­don

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