Karl Robinson was gracious in defeat after his side bowed out of the FA Cup with Budweiser after a 3-1 home defeat to Barnsley.
The Dons found themselves two-nil down at the break but arguably deserved to take the tie to a replay after a battling performance in the final 45 minutes. Dean Bowditch’s 61st minute strike did give Robinson’s men a way back into the game with just under half an hour to play but Dagnall’s second of the match in injury time banished all hopes of a dramatic comeback.
Robinson, though, believes his players and the Dons supporters should leave stadiummk full of pride after ‘one of the most memorable FA Cup campaigns in the Club’s history’ came to an end.
Speaking after the game, the 32-year-old said: “We started very poorly which is not like us at home.
“We went two-nil down and you can’t give away a two-goal lead to a team in the Championship because then it’s always going to be an uphill struggle and we did that today and that’s poor from us.
“But I was pleased with the way the team responded. I thought they gave it a good go and I couldn’t have asked for anymore of them in that second half.
“I thought the fans were brilliant and in the second half they galvanised us. Barnsley have got tremendous strength in depth and so when you can give a team like that a right good go like we did in the second half it’s pleasing.
“At the end of the day, what a wonderful FA Cup run we’ve had this year. We should be so proud of our achievements in this competition this year – it will go down in history.
“The FA Cup for us this year has put an awful lot of ghosts to bed and I want to thank the fans on behalf of the players for one of our most memorable FA Cup campaigns.
“We went out on a bit of a limb first half but we showed the passion in the second half. Now our focus is solely on the league and we’ll now have a right good go at that.”
Robinson confirmed after the game that Dean Bowditch picked up a groin injury before commenting on the sending off to Alan Smith, following a collision with Barnsley defender Rory Delap.
“Dean Bowditch was brilliant for us today and then his groin goes - I’m sick of this bad luck.
“We’ve started to get people back fit like Chaddy, Powelly and Gary. Gary’s still not there yet, though, neither’s Chaddy and Powelly’s only starting to look like he’s properly fit. – we need a bit of help somewhere.
“With regards to Smithy’s sending off, the referee said to me that he was sent off for contact in the back of the head whereas I’ve just seen it back on ITV and the contact is below the arm.
“Rory Delap also said after the game that it wasn’t even a free-kick. I’m going to appeal it.”