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.
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.
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.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.