On face value, a win, draw and a loss once again emphasised the continuing problems Ardley has to extract some consistency of the right kind from his squad, with a weakness to defend a lead particularly noticeable.
Tom Elliott looked the pick of the new sextet, his performance in the first half against his old club Cambridge United was a standout, although there is still much to do to be on the same wavelength as Adebayo Akinfenwa up front.
But at least with Elliott and the languid Lyle Taylor the Dons possess more threat up front, if only spasmodically.
Ade Azeez, so frustratingly hit and miss last season, will have to work more for his chances down the pecking order this time, although he thrilled with an absolute cracking header as substitute to get the winner over Exeter City.
One thing I did notice was that Ardley now has the option of throwing on Taylor/Elliott and Azeez as substitutes to freshen up the attack, as seen with galvanising effect at Crawley Town and Exeter City.
Although the Dons have their most experienced centre-back pairing of Karleigh Osborne and Paul Robinson, there were still some weaknesses there in the games I saw, particularly marking at set pieces.
The Dons ebullient first half against Cambridge (described by some observers as the best of the season so far) was cancelled out by two woefully defended goals in the minutes after the resumption, and from there the Dons were chasing the game when they should have still been in charge.
Osborne conceded a needless corner and Dons summer target Leon Legge rammed home a header from the resulting set piece, while the defence failed to pick up Barry Corr off another poorly defended corner as Cambridge turned the match in a twinkling.
I made the 640-mile round trip to Carlisle and again Wimbledon tossed away a lead after Andy Barcham had volleyed home Lyle Taylor’s clever pass from right of the box.
Yet again it was piecemeal marking at a corner than allowed Ibehre to volley home what proved the equaliser.
So it was with some in trepidation that I took in my final match against Exeter City at Kingsmeadow. Yet again the Dons grabbed the lead with George Francomb hooking in Elliott’s flick-on from a Jon Meades long throw, but the Grecians were back on terms before halftime.
For a time the Dons laboured to put anything constructive together until the introduction of Taylor and Azeez for Elliott and Akinfenwa.
It was Taylor again who provided the assist, whipping in a cross that Azeez did splendidly with a leaping header across the face of goal for the winner.
As it stands the Dons are mid-table after five games and it’s ridiculously early in the season to make any pronouncements.
Although in saying that, from what I witnessed Ardley has much to do to get his squad into the frame for the play-offs.
If Wimbledon can string together a run of results, show more resilience and organisation at the back and get the forward line on the same hymn sheet, maybe there is something still to come.
Heads drop far too quickly after conceding a goal, with only all-or-nothing Barry Fuller audibly getting stuck in to get more from his teammates.
For a team possessing so much Football League experience as it now has, that should be a given when things go wrong on the field.
But it looks a stronger squad than last season and Ardley has to get the best out of it. He looks to have more options in attack, although there is still a predictable over-reliance on pumping the ball to Akinfenwa as the sole outlet up front.
Fans I spoke to are keen to see Ardley make the big call and give youngster Will Nightingale his chance in defence. By all accounts Will acquitted himself admirably against Championship side Cardiff City in the League Cup and many supporters believe he is ready for regular first team football.
James Shea looks the part in goal. I loved his ‘understanding’ with home fans behind his goal in the John Green Stand to take their time returning the ball to the field in the closing minutes of the Exeter City game and all acknowledged with a wink in thanks with his back strategically turned to the referee.
These are exciting times for Wimbledon in the count down to the momentous decision on the new ground at Plough Lane.
There has been much going on behind the scenes to present an irresistible case to Merton Council for approval to take over the Greyhound Stadium.
A brochure was handed out to fans at the Exeter City game, detailing a coming vote in September for authorisation from paid up Dons Trust members to sell Kingsmeadow to raise money towards the financing of the new stadium.
The club, under the meticulous Erik Samuelson, is building a solid submission to own the ground. What has been significant is the stony silence of the once-bellicose Greyhound lobby. Is that a sign that they know the game is up?
I have the advantage of coming in fresh in my semi-regular pilgrimages to see my team, and what impressed me this time round was the greater professionalism on and off the pitch at the club.
AFC Wimbledon looks like a club on the move (hopefully to a new and larger home), the squad looks stronger, there is a pathway for home-produced players into the first team (Tom Beere started against Exeter), it is well run and organised and living within its means with the promise of New Plough Lane looming on the horizon.
As I left Kingsmeadow I got the distinct impression that I would not be coming back. Instead, in all likelihood, my ‘next’ game will be at New Plough Lane !!