Neal Ardley said his AFC Wimbledon players were “dead on their feet” but still managed to salvage a valuable point from the 1-1 League Two draw with Aldershot.

Stacy Long’s equaliser with 15 minutes to go cancelled out the Shots’ opener on the brink of half time.

After two gruelling trips to York City sandwiching a trek to Exeter, as well a 120-minute FA Cup replay, the Dons have been putting in the hours.

And there is no let up as Southend, boasting an unbeaten run of five games, come to Kingsmeadow tonight (Tuesday).

Ardley said: “I thought the Aldershot game would be a scrappy game as they are fighting for their lives and that was the way it turned out.

“They were excellent in what they did and we struggled to cope with the type of game that it was. There was not much passing and it was more about playing the percentages.

“They did that better than us, we were dead on our feet, but we hung in there and managed to come away with a point so that is a positive.”

Southend, the former employers of Jack Midson, will be in confident mood after their unbeaten run continued at the weekend continued with a 4-1 thumping of Torquay in their own back yard – they are now within two points of the play-offs.

George Francomb is expected to make his return from injury but Ardley is still finding limitations in his team selection.

“A look at the injury list tells you all you need to know. It was the best 11 that I could put out on Saturday and unfortunately it did not quite gel. It was not a decision that we made.

“With the Christmas period coming up and the fact that George Francomb and Steven Gregory will be going back before then, it is certainly something that we need to look at.”