BY MARK RITSON
AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has paid tribute to his players for responding to last weekend’s defeat at Burton Albion with a disciplined performance at Gillingham.
The South Londoners edged their Kent hosts by the odd goal, scored by striker Joe Pigott eight minutes into the second half at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Dons had their moments, while their defence’s concentration was second-to-none throughout the 90 minutes, with goalkeeper Tom King a spectator for large spells of the contest.
“The pitch wasn’t great, there was a swirling wind and it needed to be a gritty, hard-fought performance,” Ardley told the South London Press.
“I thought first half we were the better team comfortably, we hit the bar even though we didn’t have many chances, it was just that final pass.
“Second half, we came out and talked about getting a bit more penetration and we should have had a stonewall penalty, but it didn’t go our way.
“When you don’t get that second goal, you know the opposition are going to throw caution to the wind but we defended the set-pieces which came our way.
“We were the away team, we made sure we were doing our jobs. We didn’t at Burton Albion, but I thought we did our jobs.
“Even earlier in the game we were comfortable and snappier to the second balls, we just lacked that bit in the final third. As the game went on we got better.
“If you go back and look at the game, how many saves has my goalkeeper made?
“He made one in the 88th-minute from a free-kick, but other than that, how many saves did he make? That gives you the answer.”