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Match Reports

Karl: Quality goals, poor game

29 March 2013

Karl Robinson was delighted with his side’s two wonder goals following their comfortable victory over relegation-threatened Hartlepool United.

Patrick Bamford put the Dons ahead after only seven minutes with a cool finish from just inside the area after he had ghosted past several Pools defenders before Dean Bowditch capped things off with a terrific curling shot from 20 yards.

The result lifts the Dons into 11th and closes the gap on the play-off places to just nine points, with two games in hand, and manager Robinson was pleased to walk away from Victoria Park with a valuable victory, even though he felt his team’s performance didn’t necessarily deserve it.

The 32-year-old manager said: “It was a very professional performance but on the other hand, I didn’t think we were very good today. That was probably one of our worst displays of the season but it’s a win.

“We’ve come to Hartlepool, which is a long way for everybody, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to the fans and hopefully they’ll have seen how much it meant to us at the end of the match. You don’t get many easy games up in the North East and I think that showed here today.

“(Patrick Bamford’s goal) was a wonder goal and Dean Bowditch scored another cracker in the second half.

“Patrick is special talent and I think you’ve seen that today with how they had to deal with him. He’s only 19 years old but you don’t get signed for £1.5million if you’re an average player. The Premier League will definitely see the fruits of his talent one day.

“He’s young and therefore he has that little bit of petulance that may creep into the game. He had just been booked very unfairly and we didn’t want to risk having him suspended for Monday by picking up another one. He’ll come away from this game today in a very positive frame of mind and he’ll be looking forward to playing against Brentford on Monday.

“I also thought Stephen’s (Gleeson) leadership qualities today were brilliant. I think if you asked him and Darren they probably had one of their poorer games technically but their attitudes were second to none. Everybody knows how I feel about Stephen, he’s a wonderful talent.”

This afternoon’s win makes Monday’s clash with Brentford even more important, with the Dons still retaining hope of finishing in the top six come the end of April – something Robinson is confident his team can achieve if they keep working hard and keep picking up points.

“I said six wins from eight; it’s now five wins from seven. We can only worry about our results at the moment and if we can put in a good performance in on Monday against a very good Brentford side and get a victory then it will put us right back in the mix. That’s the challenge that has been set.”

Finally, Robinson also commented on the red card shown to Hartlepool midfielder Simon Walton for an apparent stamp on striker Bamford.

“I’ve grown quite close to him (Simon Walton) and that’s not in his game. He’s a tough tackler but he isn’t one for lashing out, so I think it was just out of frustration. I respect him as a person and as a footballer and I’m sure when he looks back at that he will be upset with himself.”

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