Gillingham 0-1 AFC Wimbledon: Joe Pigott the Dons hero in gritty win

BY MARK RITSON

AFC Wimbledon secured a hard-fought 1-0 win at Gillingham this afternoon, thanks to Joe Pigott.

The striker, who worked superbly hard all afternoon, was rewarded early in the second half to notch the only goal of the game in Kent, as Neal Ardley’s side battled to victory.

Dons winger Scott Wagstaff went down looking for a penalty against his former side after 15 minutes, but it would have been soft if given.

After a quiet spell from both sides, the visitors sprung into life inside 60 seconds just past the midway point of the half.

First, James Hanson struck the frame of the goal, before Pigott’s follow-up was saved by Tomas Holy. Pigott then dragged a shot wide from Ben Purrington’s ball in from the left side of the box.

Pigott, possessing a surge of confidence, also curled a free-kick narrowly over.

And the former Charlton Athletic and Maidstone United striker grabbed a deserved opener shortly into the second half, rounding Holy and finishing into an empty net from a fairly tight angle.

Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , Priestfield Stadium, 8 September 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard
Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , Priestfield Stadium, 8 September 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard
Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , Priestfield Stadium, 8 September 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard

He nearly made it number two 90 seconds later, sending an attempted chip over Holy and the crossbar.

Ardley’s side had their tails up, with Pigott their main source looking to cause all sorts of problems.

The boss injected a bit of pace to partner his goal threat in the shape of Kwesi Appiah on the hour, before Tom Soares was forced to come off with an injury and was replaced by Anthony Wordsworth.

Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , Priestfield Stadium, 8 September 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard
Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , Priestfield Stadium, 8 September 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard

The Dons tired in the latter stages going forward, allowing the hosts to press in search of an equaliser.

Ardley’s defence were magnificent, with Oshilaja and substitute Mitch Pinnock putting their bodies on the line with last-gasp interceptions.

The Kent side pushed until the death, with six minutes added on – but the South Londoners held out superbly and came away with all three points.

The Dons are back at home in League One action next Saturday when they welcome Scunthorpe United.


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