Rare strike from new boy Jimmy denies Iron
MANAGER Neal Ardley hailed Jimmy Abdou’s ability to do the simple things as AFC Wimbledon fought back for a point at Scunthorpe.
The delighted Dons boss admitted he did not make the former Millwall man one of his key summer signings for his ability in front of goal.
But the midfielder’s 67th-minute strike at Glanford Park – his first league goal in almost two years – ensured the hard-working visitors claimed a deserved draw.
“I didn’t sign him to do that and I said that to him after the game,” said Ardley of Abdou’s effort, caressed into the back of the net from the edge of the box.
“But sometimes, football is about the simple things. You can have some great build-up play and great chances and yet our goal comes from someone anticipating a knockdown and then letting fly.”
The point at Scunthorpe was Wimbledon’s first on the opening day of a season in three years, with Ardley adding: “I was pleased with a lot of things in the first half, though I said in the halftime team talk that I thought we could be more intense and braver with the ball in the final third.
“Scunthorpe scored an absolute worldie with their first attempt but other than that, I think we limited them to very little. In the second half, I thought we were by far the stronger team.”
The hosts went ahead in the sixth minute courtesy of a fine strike from wing-back Conor Townsend, who latched on to a neat through ball from Josh Morris before finding the top corner.
Wimbledon were restricted to very little during the opening 45 minutes, but grew into the game after the break and levelled when Abdou took advantage of the Iron’s failure to clear.
Home goalkeeper Matt Gilks had no chance with the equaliser, but ensured his side hung on for a point when denying Wimbledon centre-back Paul Robinson with a brilliant stop low to his right.
“We have to be content with a point. I don’t think we were good enough over the course of the 90 minutes to take all three,” said Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander.
“We deserved the lead but in the second half, we lost our mentality to get on the front foot and allowed Wimbledon to gain momentum.
“We have to get out of pre-season mode and remember what League One is about.
“Maybe this was a reminder of what it’s about and where we have to improve.”