AFC Wimbledon: Prepare for a reaction this weekend... of sorts

Lethargic: Dannie Bulman and Adam Barrett attempt to close down Hartlepool’s Marlon  Harewood on Saturday – the striker would go on to score the winner for the visitors	      SP86769

Lethargic: Dannie Bulman and Adam Barrett attempt to close down Hartlepool’s Marlon Harewood on Saturday – the striker would go on to score the winner for the visitors SP86769

First published in Sport Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Fans heading to the Cherry Red Records stadium this weekend for the Dons clash with Stevenage could be forgiven for turning away after both managers’ less than flattering description of their players.

However, Neal Ardley and Stevenage chief Graham Westley will not be hiding.

Instead, they will be looking for a reaction after calling their side’s performances and subsequent defeats last weekend “lethargic” and “ugly” respectively.

AFC Wimbledon had looked on course for a third successive League Two win against Hartlepool United thanks to Matt Tubbs’ fourth goal of the season.

However, two second half goals gave the visitors their first win of the season and left Dons with just one point from two home games.

Stevenage went down 3-1 at home to Wycombe Wanderers, leaving them with only one win from four games.

Ardley said: “After Hartlepool, I was not angry with the players, I was just disappointed.

“We’d had two really good results and we wanted to see the third one through.

“It was a test for us because we had problems at home last season and we wanted to get our home form off to a good start.

“It was game we would have typically lost last season and all the signs were good for the first 45 minutes.

“So in the end it was more deflating than anything.”

He added: “We were very lethargic in the first 20 minutes of the second half – as much as we brought legs on to freshen it up, it looked like it was a game too far.

“Having the MK Dons game as our second game of the season was tough because we had to go flat out, while other teams could rest players.

“But it’s not an excuse because Hartlepool travelled a long way and their players would have played the same amount of games.”

Stevenage boss Westley said: “We didn’t have any sense of ambition [last weekend] and sometimes you have to admit it was ugly.”

Ardley remains without the service of Jack Smith (knee) and Andy Frampton (ankle).

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