KARL: TIME TO STEP UP, LINO!
LINESMEN must be made more accountable, MK boss Karl Robinson insisted, after seeing his side denied a penalty in this entertaining draw.
Robinson went to the lengths of bringing in a laptop to the press conference, to show Darren Potter being felled by Andy Taylor when Dons were 1-0 down.
The foul was not given and, although Will Grigg’s equaliser earned MK a point, Robinson still pointed the finger – but not at referee Seb Stockbridge.
Robinson said: “It’s not a mistake by the referee – his assistant got it wrong.
“You all write as journalists about the referee but they come as a team of four.
“And I think we have to take more of a wider view of their collective performance, rather than a single-minded view towards one man.
“It’s an easy cop-out for me to moan, but I’m only doing this because I’m not intelligent enough to articulate how bad that decision was. A picture paints a thousand words.”
The penalty decision apart, Robinson was pleased with the result after five losses in seven, but MK still lost ground to in-form Preston in the race for second spot.
He added: “To go 1-0 down in the way we did and for us to respond like we did was very, very good.
“I’ve seen elements of us here getting back to what we are good at.
“We accept the criticism because we have done so well and we have lacked confidence recently, but this was a tick in the box towards the right direction.”
Dons keeper David Martin gifted Walsall an eighth-minute lead.
He came for an Andy Taylor cross he had no chance of reaching and left Bradshaw the simple job of nodding into an empty net.
After the Potter penalty shout, MK levelled on 33 minutes as Grigg – who came up through the youth ranks at Walsall – touched home Dean Bowditch’s inviting cross from close range.
Walsall dominated the second half, but Adam Chambers’ bullet header was cleared off the line by Kyle McFadzean and Martin tipped over a late 20-yard Sam Mantom strike.
The Saddlers nearly threw it away at the death when James O’Connor’s back-header drifted past goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, but the stopper got back to paw it off the line.
Walsall boss Dean Smith felt defeat would have been a travesty, insisting: “With MK Dons sat where they are, it looks a good point, but we thought we were unfortunate that we didn’t get all three.
“We started the game really well, took the lead and, for 10-15 minutes, I thought we were the better team. “Then they scored. “They will see it as a good goal for them and we will see it as a sloppy goal for us. I thought when they scored, they got stronger but we got in at half-time and had a chat and I thought second half we were good value.”
STAR MAN PAUL DOWNI
l NO FAVOURS: Will Grigg of MK Dons celebrates after equalising against his old club