Dons boss Karl Robinson rued his side’s failure to kill off the game after sharing a 1-1 draw with Swindon Town in front of the Sky Sports cameras at stadiummk.
The Dons fell behind in the 17th minute after Alex Pritchard’s stunning free-kick which flew into the very top corners. However, the dismissal of Nathan Byrne 51st minutes into the second half proved costly for Swindon as the Dons went on to equaliser through Patrick Bamford.
Bamford’s goal was his fifth of the current campaign in nine appearances but boss Robinson was left disappointed that his side did not put Swindon to the sword.
Speaking to the media after the game, he said:“I thought we edged it a little bit in the first half, I didn’t think we were the better team, I didn’t think we were massively in control either but I do think we had the two best chances of the game in the first half.
“A wonder strike from a dead ball beat us in the first half but the disappointing thing for me is that we were very poor for about 10 minutes after we scored the goal, we were slow and it took us a little bit too long to get back into it and it allowed them the chance to recover and get back into shape. We should have kept them on the ropes - the greatest boxers in the world get you on the ropes, keep you there and punish you for it – we didn’t punish them, we allowed them off the ropes and let them get their momentum back.”
At the heart of the match was the officials, referee Stuart Atwell and his assistants, with the decision to send off Byrne and to rule out a late goal from George Baldock, with replays showing the midfielder on side.
Robinson agreed with Swindon boss Mark Cooper that Spurs loanee Byrne should have stayed on the pitch, he added: “From the referee’s angle the only thing I think he thinks it can be is intent, so if it is intent he has to got to go but we know Nathan Byrne and we’ve seen the challenge again, it wouldn’t be intent with him.
“I think it was a tired tackle so I do feel for them. I’ve been on the end of many of them before and you have to be careful with what you say, I’ve been told the referee has only sent two players off in a number of games so it’s not the norm for him.
“In the first half I thought we could have had two penalties, but I’ve looked back at them and I get them wrong. You had to take your hat off to the referee for the decisions because I know a lot of referees would have given them and he got it spot on. Our goal was onside, it’s a yard onside, so there are bones to pick and it’s disappointing but we’ll move on.”
The result, the Dons’ fourth draw of the season, maintains their unbeaten start to their League campaign and Robinson can only see positives from that record.
“We’re unbeaten which makes me happy and we still have a few players injured and out on international duties. Once we get Daniel Powell, Dean Bowditch and Tom Flanagan back from injury we will be a decent team with strength in depth. If someone offered me 10 points after the start we had – Preston away, Sheffield United away, Bristol City and Swindon here – I would have taken it.”