AFC Wimbledon boss Ardley develops a radar for "homer" referees

Sutton Guardian: In the ref's ear: Neal Ardley's work on the touchline is about more than organising 11 men on the pitch               SP79028 In the ref's ear: Neal Ardley's work on the touchline is about more than organising 11 men on the pitch SP79028

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley reckons he has developed a sixth sense when it comes to understanding officials, and last weekend it paid dividends.

It was seven minutes into injury time on Saturday when Darren Jones hit Dons’ leveller at Burton Albion – injury time Ardley believes was justified and due partly to his work during in the preceding 90 minutes.

Albion had taken a first half lead through Billy Kee’s penalty after Alan Bennett fouled Dominic Knowles just inside the box.

After the break, Ardley says his side were the better team and that is when Albion starting winding down the clock.

“They took too long to get the ball back for throw ons, they took too long over substitutions and I kept on at the fourth official that they were time-wasting,” Ardley said.

“Sometimes you need to keep on at them, keep reminding them of what is happening.

“I was disappointed with the original five minutes of injury time, but then they made a couple of substitutions and rightly so, the time was added on.

He added: “In some games I can get a sense of what type of referee we’ve got, whether he is going to be a ‘homer’ or play it down the line.

“If decisions keep going against us, I have a word with the fourth official and tell them it is getting ridiculous and he has to give us something soon.”

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