Neal Ardley applauds AFC Wimbledon after first win over Oxford

Neal Ardley applauds AFC Wimbledon after first win over Oxford

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley called his team's 3-1 victory at Oxford a near-perfect display.

It was the Dons' first win over the U's in 13 attempts as they at last got the monkey off their back.

Tom Elliott, Darius Charles and Andy Barcham struck to put Wimbledon 3-0 up in the televised game at the Kassam Stadium, before Oxford responded early in the second half with an own goal from Charles.

Ardley said: "It's three wins in a week for us now and we're up into the top half of League One, so it's really pleasing, especially with our record against Oxford, which had been rammed down our throats all week.

"To me, it was a performance that had everything.

"From the moments where Paul Robinson put in a couple of fantastic blocks, and the first goal which was straight off the training ground, and which we had worked on yesterday, through to the third goal which was a great pass, great run and finish.

"And in the second half, we knew they would come hard at us, but then after they got a goal after three minutes, I thought we put in a really professional performance."

Oxford missed out on the chance to climb to seventh in the table, and instead, AFC Wimbledon have moved up to 10th.

Ardley added: "We did have a hangover following on from the play-offs, I think four defeats tells you that. But we are back to playing the way we did at times last season.

"We've got a lot of confidence at the moment and are playing well.

"We knew Oxford would come really hard at us at the start of the second half and throw caution to the wind, but we stood up to everything."

The U's were upset that referee Darren Deadman failed to award a free-kick for a challenge by Dean Parrett on Wes Thomas just before Charles curled in Dons' second goal

But Oxford boss Michael Appleton said his side's defeat was not just down to the official.

"There were a lot of things that went against us, but the ref wasn't the only reason we lost," he said.

"For us to concede the first goal as we did from a set play put us on the back foot.

"We thought it was a bad foul in the lead-up to the second goal and that's hard to take.

"It was a jump from their player and it was a straight leg, and we've been told that, when it's that combination, it has to be a straight red card. And we had Alex MacDonald sent off for exactly the same thing at Swindon in midweek.

"The third goal was more than preventable from our point of view, so it was a disappointing day for us.

"But credit to Wimbledon, they got a lot of blocks in and defended well."

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