Monday, 01 April 2002
Nationwide League Division 1
Bramall Lane
Attendance: 19,712
Ref: Phil Joslin
Sheffield United
0 (0) - (1) 1
Neal Ardley
Wildo de Vogt
Keith Curle
Robert Page
Ben Doane
Phil Jagielka
Shane Nicholson
Bobby Ford
Nick Montgomery
Subbed 68m
Michael Tonge
Subbed 42m
Laurent D'Jaffo
Subbed 60m
Peter Ndlovu
Jean-Philippe Javary
Sub (26 42m)26 Yellow 45m
Simon Tracey
Grant Smith
Sub (12 60m)12
Lee Sandford
Steve Lovell
Sub (22 68m)22

Neal Ardley's third goal of the season kept Wimbledon's slim play-off hopes alive - but it was hard to take for Sheffield United after a dominant second-half display.

Ardley fired home via the boot of Keith Curle in the 39th minute to seal the Dons' fourth win in five games.

Sheffield United striker Laurent D'Jaffo recovered from a back problem to play, but Paul Peschisolido and Michael Brown were ruled out.

Both sides had early chances, with Wimbledon striker Neil Shipperley firing a shot straight at Wilko de Vogt in the seventh minute.

Six-goal striker D'Jaffo headed weakly at Kelvin Davis at the other end.

The Dons responded, and opened the scoring in the 39th minute.

The ball found its way to Ardley on the edge of the box, and his shot took a deflection off defender Curle and eluded de Vogt.

As half-time approached, both teams continued to attack, and after Mark Williams' audacious 35-yard shot was saved, D'Jaffo had a fierce drive pushed away by Davis.

The home side started brightly after the restart but were being restricted to long distance shooting, with Robert Page and Peter Ndlovu firing wide.

D'Jaffo was substituted after 59 minutes, with Grant Smith coming on, and he almost made an instant impact but the young striker scuffed a shot wide from six yards.

Blades substitute Steve Lovell had a shot well-held by Davis, and in the 73rd minute, Ndlovu forced the keeper into a superb diving stop.

United deserved to level matters for a much-improved second 45 minutes, but they were continually denied by an inspired display by Davis.

Ndlovu had an 82nd-minute header pushed clear, and Javary then put a shot wide at the death, as Wimbledon somehow survived.