Dons boss: We were Ard done by

Neil Ardley
Neil Ardley
Mark Catlin, right, celebrates on Southsea Common with the League Two trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Farewell to a Pompey friend – and good luck

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Neal Ardley admitted he felt partly responsible for AFC Wimbledon’s defeat after tempting fate in his half-time team talk.

The Dons boss was pleased with his side’s performance at Fratton Park and insisted he could not see the home side scoring, as long as his defenders continued to do what they had been doing.

But after reminding them at half-time, Ardley saw his side drop too deep and allow Ryan Taylor to head home what proved to be the winner.

Ardley said: ‘The only way we could see them scoring was if we dropped into our box and a cross came in.

‘Lo and behold, five minutes in, I wish I didn’t say things at half-time because the opposite seems to happen.

‘A throw, a first-time cross, we were already in the box waiting and Taylor got a run on us.

‘It’s the sort of mistake they don’t make at the top.

‘But it leaves you chasing the game and that’s hard.’

Wimbledon certainly had most of the territory as they chased the equaliser and Ardley was pleased to see Pompey restricted to very few opportunities.

He said: ‘They are the home team and I can’t remember them creating anything.

‘I know they scored the goal and had a shot from long range in the first half.

‘But it was as comfortable as you can be away from home in one way but without winning the game obviously.

‘We did everything else in the game well and comfortably.

‘But we’ve got to get away from saying how unlucky we were.

‘On another day, two of our chances go in, but credit to Portsmouth.

‘They are down where we were last season, fighting for their lives and they put their bodies on the line to keep a clean sheet.

‘We put the substitutes on to try to chase a goal towards the end.

‘But there aren’t too many players I can say didn’t play well for us and that’s a good sign.’