Glyn Hodges excited for AFC Wimbledon’s ’emotional’ Plough Lane return
Glyn Hodges admitted he cannot wait for AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane return, after his side signed off from life at Loftus Road with a 1-0 win over nine-man Blackpool.
Gary Madine thought he had given the Seasiders the lead early on, only for his 10th-minute header to be ruled out for a foul on Connal Trueman, before Callum Reilly broke the deadlock for the hosts three minutes later.
Shane McLoughlin fed the 27-year-old who fired under a helpless Chris Maxwell, and Joe Pigott then went close with a long-range free-kick before Ethan Robson and Dan Ballard were both sent off for the visitors.
And although the Dons were unable to add to their lead, manager Hodges was pleased to claim a first home win of the season, ahead of a move to their new stadium close to the site of the original ground where he plied his trade as a player between 1980-1987.
“We couldn’t get the second goal today and I think we got a bit nervous because sometimes playing against fewer men can be difficult,” Hodges said.
“We’ve still got to work out how we can get more of an attacking threat and I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to add to our goal tally but it wasn’t to be, though the clean sheet is very important for us.
“The first red card looks like the player lost control and for the second one, Shane [McLoughlin] has got a whack on his nose but I don’t think there was any malice in it.
“Everyone is going to be emotional about going back to Plough Lane, but my job is to make sure that we are focusing on our next match.
“It’s a very familiar place for me and every time I go back there, there’s something that triggers my own memory and emotions and now we are going to go back there which is amazing.”
Though Robson and Ballard were given their marching orders, Blackpool boss Neil Critchley believes his team could do with upping their aggression after seeing their search for a first away win in over a year go on.
He said: “We can’t keep chasing games against teams that don’t give away many goals, but having said that I thought we had control of the game until the sending-off.
“I thought we were very good with 10 men and just as good with nine, because the application of the players was first class.
“We had one or two opportunities to equalise and if we’d taken one of them, I’d probably be standing here talking about what a great point away from home that was.
“To end up with nine men makes us look like an ill-disciplined team but we’re not, and in my opinion sometimes we need to be a bit nastier.”