Jack is back - AFC Wimbledon hitman is back among the goals... however they come
Among the names on the AFC Wimbledon scoresheet from Saturday, there was one that has been missing since the final game of last season.
It was not the best of the goals, but Jack Midson’s close range knock-in during the 3-1 win over Burton Albion, was his first for the Dons this season.
Both he and manager Neal Ardley will be hoping it triggers a return to the form that saw the striker top the goal-scoring charts for the past two years.
But for that to happen, Midson needs to be starting matches and the win over Burton was only his third start in eight League Two games – the last being the 2-0 defeat at Exeter City in August.
The 30-year-old admitted to a growing sense of frustration, and it all came out in his celebration last weekend.
Midson said: “I’ll take the goal whatever way it comes, but I think you saw how much it meant to me to finally score.
Get in there: Jack Midson celebrates with strike partner Michael Smith SP79023
“I’ve had a few efforts blocked, and we’ve been awarded penalties when I’ve not be on the pitch, so it has been frustrating.
“I’ve not started as many games as I would have liked, but I’ve had to take that on the chin and I’ve been working hard in training.”
Ardley said: “I thought Jack had a slow pre-season and I told him that, the stats showed he had not hit the ground running.
“He had a couple of games where he looked like he had lost his edge and again I told. His reaction since has been first class, and before the Burton game I thought we would get a big performance out of him which is why he came back into the starting 11.”
Midson said: “In pre-season last year, I trained too hard, too soon and picked up niggling injuries, and I was worried about the same thing happening again.
“This time round, the gaffer told us he did not expect us to be 100 per cent at the start of the season, and maybe I took that a little bit too much to heart.
“I was not ‘just going through the motions’ and I always work hard in training, with a good mental attitude, so I was ready when the gaffer came calling.”
The Dons had to come from a goal behind against 10-man Burton Albion, but Michael Smith and Andy Frampton’s goals sandwiched Midson’s effort to lift them to third in the table.
It was Smith’s fifth league goal of the season, and Midson believes when he and the on-loan striker are partnered up front, they are a handful for any team.
“We have not had much chance to play together, and I did start in the hole behind him, almost in midfield, which did not really suit me,” he said.
“But the times we have started up front together, we cause enough trouble that it makes it hard for the opposition to cope with us.”
The Dons go to Cheltenham this weekend, looking for only their second win on the road.
Meanwhile, Ardley expects Will Antwi and Kevin Sainte-Luce to return to first team training this week, with a few to them taking part in next week’s U21 cup match against Gillingham.
Charlie Sheringham continues to struggle with his ankle injury and is likely to remain on the treatment table for up to two weeks.
Three Amigos: Chris Arthur, Andy Frampton and Barry Fuller
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