AFC WimbledonSport

Johnnie Jackson makes Ali Al-Hamadi claim after brace in AFC Wimbledon’s win over Doncaster

BY CONOR KEENAN

AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson believes Ali Al Hamadi “is as good as it gets at this level” following the Iraqi International bagged both goals in a 2-0 home win over Doncaster Rovers.

Al-Hamadi put the Dons ahead goal in first-half stoppage time, poking home from a James Tilley corner before a beautiful strike from the edge of the area 15 minutes into the second half doubled his tally for the day.

Jackson claims he wouldn’t swap the Iraqi international for any other player in League Two.

“He’s as good as it gets at this level,” he said.

“It’s probably not reflected in the numbers in terms of goals, but I think he’s shown all season he’s such a threat. Goals are coming now – we always knew they would.

“He’s an unbelievable lad. He’s a tough boy, a tough upbringing which has been well documented. Having to flee Baghdad, grew up in Liverpool – he’s a tough scouse lad, he’s a joy to work with.

“There’s no player I would rather have than Ali. We’re lucky to have him.”

The win over Doncaster capped off a perfect week for Wimbledon, recording three wins in three competitions following the 5-1 dismantling of League One Cheltenham in the FA Cup and the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace U21s in the EFL Trophy.

“The message to the players was to finish off a really good week,” said Jackson.

“There are 22 players in there and across the three competitions they’ve all played a part over the last seven days and that’s really pleasing.”

It was a largely comfortable win for Jackson’s side despite finishing the game with nine men.

Full-back Huseyin Biler was sent off with 20 minutes to go before forward Omar Bugiel was dismissed in stoppage time. 

Both will miss the visit of Notts County on November 25 with through suspension.

“I’m not going to talk about the negatives,” he added. 

“It’s been a great week, three wins from three.

“I’ve got a great squad and this is the time, around November and December, when you need everyone. They’ve shown to me already that they can step up when called upon.”

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