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Thompson Proud of Town's Spirit In AFC Wimbledon Draw

16 October 2016

Town Captain Nathan Thompson lavished praise on his team-mates following their gutsy display in the 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Missing a host of key players through injury and suspension, the Robins lined up in an unfamiliar 4-2-3-1 formation against an in-form Dons side who were full of confidence following a six game unbeaten run prior to the weekend.

However, Town produced a determined and stubborn display to frustrate their hosts and secure a fifth away point in three games, which was helped by Lawrence Vigouroux’s superb penalty save to deny Lyle Taylor in the first-half.

Given that they also coped well against a very physical and experienced AFC Wimbledon team, Thompson was quick to express his pride at how his colleagues performed in the wake of the game.

“I think desire and determination to keep a clean sheet over the last couple of weeks helped to get us a point,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say it has been missing but there have been times where we’ve been questioned a little bit, but on Saturday we got our bodies on the line, we threw ourselves in where it hurt and we got our just rewards.

“He (Tom Elliott) was a tricky customer but you’ve got to expect long balls and very direct teams at this level.

“If we are going to achieve anything this season then we’ve got to be able to come up against that and do well against that – I thought we did that on Saturday.

“The Bolton defeat hurt, especially given that the performance wasn’t great, but we’ve worked a lot on second balls in training and you’ve seen over the course of the last couple of games that teams are very direct and they are picking up second balls.

“That’s been hurting us so we’ve been making sure that we’re on the right side of the ball when a long ball is played and I felt we got our just rewards.

“There was probably an opportunity to nick it as well if we maybe had a little bit more quality at times in the final-third, but there were encouraging signs especially when you look at the amount of players we’ve got injured at the moment in time.

“It was positive.”

And Thompson felt yesterday’s draw with AFC Wimbledon was a fair result all round.

“It is a difficult one because they missed a penalty so they will probably feel like they could have won it as well,” he added.

“We got into promising positions on numerous occasions and if we had a little bit more quality and a bit more composure in that final-third then I feel we could have nicked it.

“But, on reflection, maybe a point was fair.”

Lawrence Vigouroux has been in fine form in recent weeks and proved himself to be the hero on Saturday with his first-half penalty save, while Conor Thomas produced a hugely impressive display at the heart of the defence, despite not being a natural defender.

“You saw Will’s (Henry) heroics in the cup last week and he’s a fantastic back-up and Lawrence has been absolutely top drawer,” Thompson continued.

“He’s been a shining light in what has been a difficult start to the season. He’s got a real quality and when he’s really able to focus he’s one of the best around for me.

“You have to look at the players we’ve got available at this moment in time and in terms of defenders, it is probably only myself who has played as a centre-back on a regular back and I’m not even a centre-back by trade.

“Hats off to James Brophy, Darnell Furlong and Conor Thomas because we’ve changed formation and they were top drawer.

“The way that Conor has adapted to numerous different positions this season has been a credit to himself and I was extremely impressed on Saturday.

“I felt we formed a good partnership and AFC Wimbledon have got some decent players and the boys they brought off the bench had quality as well, but I thought we dealt with their threats well.”

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