Ardley's side had bossed the opening exchanges but seemed to lose their rhythm after Burton's Marcus Holness was given a straight red by referee Mick Russell for raising his hands in the direction of AFC Wimbledon midfielder Sammy Moore after 20 minutes.
The visitors then stunned the home faithful as Adam McGurk gave them the lead. But the hosts responded emphatically after the break to move up to third spot in the table courtesy of goals from Michael Smith, Jack Midson and Andy Frampton much to the delight of Ardley.
"Up until the red card it was OK. Without being spectacular it was OK," said the Wimbledon manager.
"We were in control of the game and it didn't feel like we had many problems.
"I think the red card and then a goal against us in short time kind of put us off our stride and caused problems.
"Then our decision making went, we played at a slower tempo and then defended at a slower tempo and all of a sudden, not only could they play out, but they could break on us and we just got caught.
"We came in at half-time and had a chat and I'd rather lose the game 2-0 or 3-0 then lose it 1-0 when you're at home and playing against 10-men.
"So we went for some pace down the wings and they carried the plan out to the letter in that second half."