Rare strike from new boy Jimmy de­nies Iron

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Sumpter

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.”

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