BY MARK RITSON
Joe Pigott has revealed how Saturday’s 1-0 win at Gillingham was a close family affair, having scored the winning goal for AFC Wimbledon.
The Kent-born striker, who once had a loan spell at Priestfield and was just down the A229 at Maidstone United last season, made sure the Dons came away with a much-needed victory early into the second half.
It also lifted Neal Ardley’s side up into mid-table on eight points.
“I was feeling very tired, to be honest – the pitch was like a sponge,” Pigott told the South London Press.
“It looked quite good from the side, but when you were on it I was absolutely knackered by the end.
“It was a great three points, we really needed it. The last few results haven’t really been positive for us and we wanted to try and grow into the game which, luckily, is what we did.
“I was really happy to get my goal. My father-in-law is a Gills fan and grew up just down the road. So that’s quite funny and I spoke to him afterwards. He did speak to me!
“But I struck it really well. After getting around the goalkeeper, I think he thought I didn’t have a chance but I squeezed it into a tight gap and thankfully it went in.
“I haven’t really set myself a goal target, I am just happy to be playing and I know I’m going to get chances and get goals – I just need to take them and keep my sharpness up.”
Pigott has certainly worked on his game off the pitch this summer, with boss Ardley ordering the forward to improve his physicality for the demands of League One football.
“I was just doing basic strengthening work in the gym,” said Pigott, 24.
“I have come back and it’s paid off, I am happy with my progress and still have a lot to do.
“In the National League it’s a lot more physical, coming up against six-foot-three centre-halves. Brutes, really.
“There are in League One and in most levels of football, but it was just those two yards I needed to gain because of the tempo. I feel like I have got closer and now I have got to keep it up.
“We have got some great options up front and now we have also signed Jake Jervis on loan – he’s different to the rest of us – so the gaffer has a lot of options there.”
This weekend the Dons return to the Cherry Red Records Stadium to welcome a Scunthorpe United side that have surprisingly started the season slowly.
And Pigott believes victory over the Gills will give them the confidence to shock their Lincolnshire opponents – and grab that first win of the season at home.
“It will be another tough game, they’ve had a chance of manager early doors,” he said.
“But we’ll be really looking forward to that game (after Saturday’s result). We’ve had a tough schedule – we have played around eight or nine games already in a month.
“Now, we have got a clear week, be refreshed and ready to go next Saturday.”
IMAGEDS BY KEITH GILLARD