AFC Wimbledon boss unhappy with Gillingham pitch and set to discover extent of midfielder’s injury

BY MARK RITSON

Neal Ardley was not happy with the state of Gillingham’s pitch on Saturday, with three of his AFC Wimbledon players forced to leave the field due to injury or cramp.

Perhaps, though, there is a reason behind the playing surface being below par at Priestfield, with the Gills recruiting for an assistant groundsman on their club website.

Tom Soares was helped off, while James Hanson and Scott Wagstaff struggled, too, with all three forced to leave the pitch in the second half.

And Ardley is set to find out the severity of Soares’ injury- in particular – on Monday.

“Tom, I don’t want to say too much, but the pitch was really poor, really heavy,” the boss told the South London Press.


“I think Gillingham were also struggling, but Tom and Waggy [Scott Wagstaff] were really cramping in the hamstring, and James Hanson with his calf.

“So all three were enforced substitutions. Hopefully it’s just a bit of cramping because the pitch was heavy but we’ll find out on Monday.”

On Wagstaff, who faced his former club on Saturday, Ardley has been happy with how the Kent-born winger has started with the Dons.

The Charlton Athletic academy graduate received some stick from Gills fans in the second half, but easily coped with his return to Priestfield overall.

“Our fans love Waggy, he’ll run around and give everything,” said Ardley.

“He has that bit of quality, so what is there not to love?”

IMAGES BY KEITH GILLARD

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