AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley admitted the wait had been worth it after new signing Danny Hylton struck on his debut to beat Hartlepool United, 2-1.

Hylton arrived on loan from Rotherham United until the end of the season on Monday and appeared off the bench at half-time to change the game.

Luke James headed Pools in front just before the break but after Will Antwi nodded the Dons level, Hylton struck the winner.

And while admitting it was a time-consuming deal to pull off, Ardley was rewarded for his patience.

"It's why this last two and a half weeks of pain I've been through have been worth it," he said.

"It just took a while. Steve Evans [Rotherham manager] does things the way he does them and it just took a little while to get it over the line.

"A couple of times I was getting near the end of the window and thinking I might have to look elsewhere and I didn't want to.

"He's still not fully match fit but hopefully we'll get him there.

"When you're 1-0 down and playing as disjointed as we did in the first half then obviously you are delighted with the win.

"I take the wrap for the first half, I tactically got it wrong. We didn't have enough width and we ended up with too many straight balls down the middle.

"Ross Worner showed why he's becoming one of the best goalkeepers in this league and we rode our look at times."

Hartlepool were well worth their half-time lead but struggled to deal with the Dons' greater threat after they switched to two up front.

Marlon Harewood wasted a fine chance to put Pools 2-0 up before Antwi equalised and Pools manager Colin Cooper is keen to get back to winning ways.

"The disappointing thing is their goalkeeper has all the saves to make other than early in the second half,'' said Cooper.

"Other than that first goal, we also had enough to finish the game off and allowed them to ease their way back into a game that was a million miles away.

"We played nice football - the sort I want to play. But our supporters will go away and not remember that.

"It was a bombardment and they admitted they were looking to do that and put us under pressure. As the pressure mounts, you make decisions that aren't the right ones.

"The only thing we said is when we get our noses in front we win games - this time we got in front and got pegged back.

"Hopefully that feeling won't leave the players and we will get back to winning games.

"I had a word with Marlon after 20 minutes, he was slowly finding his way into the game and he got there."