Superiority in both boxes got AFC Wimbledon’s playoff quest back on track against Luton on Saturday according to boss Neal Ardley.
Statistics showed the visiting Hatters matched their hosts in terms of shots and efforts on target, leading Ardley to admit 4-1 score-line had a lopsided look to it.
However, two quick-fire bouts of clinical finishing, coupled with defensive resilience marshalled by debutant keeper Kelle Roos saw Dons back to winning ways.
“The score-line in the end doesn’t do Luton justice,” he said.
“For large parts of the game they caused us problems with 15 attempts at our goal, six on target and that’s a rare high number for us. We are the second best in the league for allowing opposition attempts at our goal, only Portsmouth are above us.
“The difference was we defended our box and our goalkeeper really well and they didn’t.
“Ultimately we have scored at good times with two in the space of however many minutes in the first half and two in a similar number of minutes in the second half and that made all the difference.”
Dons began brightly with the impressive Andy Barcham teeing up Tom Elliott for a shot inside the first two minutes which cannoned to safety off teammate Lyle Taylor.
Seconds later Barry Fuller forced Elliott Justham to dive full length to parry his shot from distance and with 12 minutes played the visitors somehow survived when Elliott headed George Francomb’s free-kick back across goal but no-one could supply the finishing touch.
Dons lost Jake Reeves to injury following a heavy tackle, but maintained their momentum and were ahead on 23 minutes.
Francomb’s corner from the left was the catalyst and when Ryan Sweeney headed back across goal the ball struck Scott Cuthbert and flew beyond Justham.
Just three minutes later it was 2-0. Again there was an element of good fortune as Taylor’s goal-bound header hit a defender to wrong-foot Justham, but the hosts earned the luck with Barcham’s miraculous cross with the outside of his foot from right on the dead-ball line.
The Hatters twice went close to reducing the arrears in the dying minutes of the half, as first Cameron McGeehan and then Paul Benson forced smart saves from Roos, but Dons sealed victory with a second double whammy within four minutes of the restart.
Two minutes in, Barcham beat the full-back down the left and when his cross was headed back to the edge of the box by Elliott, Sean Rigg drilled a low shot beyond Justham’s left hand.
From the kick-off, relentless Dons won the ball back and forced successive corners corners the second of which was pulled back by Francomb for Taylor to thump home his second of the game.
To their credit Luton refused to cave, Jack Marriott pulling one back with a delicious turn and shot, while McGeehan had another effort ruled out for use of a hand, but the damage had been done.