Glyn Hodges was delighted with the way his AFC Wimbledon side returned from their coronavirus-enforced break with a 1-0 win at Rochdale.
The Dons’ FA Cup tie against Barrow and their Sky Bet League One fixture against Wigan had been postponed after several positive tests within the ranks, but with only two days’ training behind them they secured victory at the Crown Oil Arena courtesy of Ethan Chislett’s 92nd-minute winner.
The fact his side finished the game so strongly left Hodges a happy man.
“It’s a third away win of the season for us – we’ve left a few points at home but we’ve been pleased with our away form,” he said. “We started the season well and after having quite a long break since our last game – two weeks – we’re glad to come back with a win.
“It was very pleasing to restrict Rochdale to very few chances and that was the gameplan.
“I wasn’t sure physically how we’d be given the break we’d had or how we’d be on the ball, but we started the first well, didn’t finish it strongly, but in the second half we grew into it and got better and better.
“It was a fairly even game and maybe a little unfair on Rochdale that we nicked the game, but we’ll take it!
“We told the players at half-time they weren’t doing things they needed to do and they addressed that and we got stronger
“We’d only had two days’ training, so to come back after two weeks and win is a credit to the boys.”
Dale shaded the first half, Matty Lund going closest with a header on target which was comfortably saved by Connal Trueman.
The Dons goalkeeper was beaten minutes into the second half by Ollie Rathbone, but the Dale midfielder’s dinked effort drifted wide of the post.
The visitors gradually built up a head of steam, Joe Pigott testing Jay Lynch with a deflected shot before the Dale stopper beaten two minutes into stoppage time when Chislett turned sharply and fired into the corner of his net.
“It’s very difficult to take when you concede in time added on like that,” said Brian Barry-Murphy. “It is something we’ve experienced in the last couple of years but it’s not something that we want to get used to.
“I’ve reminded the players how well they have done overall this season and told them not to get too downhearted with such a quick turnaround for the game against Northampton on Tuesday.
“I thought we had good control of the game for long spells and probably didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked.
“Wimbledon have done this to us before, which is credit to them.
“We had some key chances which become paramount when you play a team like them, and we didn’t manage to take them.”