The Dons were leading the Grecians thanks to Bayo Akinfenwa’s sensational opening goal at St James Park before Darren Deadman gave Bulman his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Connor Riley-Lowe after just 25 minutes.
Deadman had no hesitation in brandishing the card and it proved to be Wimbledon’s downfall as the hosts turned the tables and raced into a 3-1 lead before James Hamon's own goal gave the scoreline a bit more respectability.
Ardley didn’t see the incident clearly himself but wasn’t impressed with the reports he’d heard post-match in Devon and was also disappointed with Wimbledon’s concession of a penalty that led to Exeter taking the lead.
"We didn't defend well enough at times, one-to-one defending wasn't good enough,” Ardley told the BBC.
"When we did get into the dangerous areas, they moved it well and they caused us problems.
"After a really good start, it all went wrong and 23 minutes in they tell me Bully went in two-footed, if he did then he's cost the team a long trip and an away performance really.
"To concede a really soft, soft penalty is really hard to take."