Russell Martin was left with mixed emotions after a dominating MK Dons display at Doncaster Rovers wasn’t rewarded with three points.
The Dons looked on course for their first league win in 12 attempts at the Keepmoat Stadium, until a controversial 87th-minute goal from Cameron John earned Donny a share of the spoils.
The result left Martin with a sense of disappointment, having not secured what would have been a deserved victory, but also with immense pride following his team’s impressive performance away from home.
“We’re gutted, of course, not to win the game because we deserved to but it’s mixed emotions for me because there are so many positives to take,” the Dons boss said in his post-match press conference.
“I’m really proud of the players and how they played. We’ve come away from home to a decent team, who have had some good results here, and we’ve completely controlled the game. Not many teams, if any, are going to come here this year and do what we did in terms of possession and territory.
"We were in control of the game, and they had to adapt and change the way they played to deal with us – that’s a big compliment and the players deserved that. They had a good spell in the first 15 minute but after that we’ve dominated it. The players stayed composed and stuck to the plan – I thought they were excellent.
"I don’t think anybody would have complained had we come away 1-0 winners. It’s just disappointing we didn’t hold on for the win and the three points.”
Martin continued: “It’s another step, another improvement and another progression for us. As I’ve continued to say, this is not going to be an overnight thing but I think you can see it’s building and growing.
“They are taking information on and they continue to show courage and conviction to stick to what we are doing. We’re showing a real belief. I’m proud of that.”
The frustrations at conceding late on were only heightened when replays showed a clear foul on goalkeeper Lee Nicholls in the build-up to John’s effort.
While not blaming the officials for the result, Dons boss Martin was disappointed that the foul was not spotted.
“It’s a blatant foul. The lad has rugby tackled Lee into the goal but nobody has seen it. What makes it more frustrating is that Lee had brought it to the referee’s attention earlier in the game that he was doing it.
“We’re not blaming the referee as the reason we’ve drawn, there are small details we could improve on in the build up, but it’s a clear and obvious mistake from him.”
Russell Martin's MK Dons return to Stadium MK action this Saturday when they take on Oxford United in their latest Sky Bet League One fixture.
Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with an accompanying adult. Supporters can upgrade to premium seats in the East Centre for a £5 premium while an upgrade to clubRed is just £10 more.
Club Dons members are entitled to £5 discount on the matchday price for 10 EFL games while Young Dons members can take advantage of a £1 discount on prices - why not use that discount for today's match?
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343.