LUCK AT US NOW, SAYS BOSS KARL Henley’s red lifts Robbo’s Dons
MK DONS boss Karl Robinson admitted it was about time his side had the rub of the green after they won for the first time since August against ten-man Blackburn.
Adam Henley lasted all of ten minutes before he was shown a straight red card for a clumsy challenge on Josh Murphy inside the box.
Ben Reeves netted from the resulting spot-kick and again at the death either side of Simon Church’s header mid-way through the second-half.
And Robinson said: “I thought the players were excellent and the way we started the game made it really difficult for Blackburn in the first ten minutes.
“It was definitely a straight red card, but it was borderline where it was on the pitch – at the time I thought it was outside the area and I wasn’t overly sure about that.
“But it’s about time something like that has gone in our favour. But I don’t want to win games through refereeing decisions because I don’t like losing them like that either.
“We were able to see out their pressure in the second-half and come out the other side in the last ten minutes and dominate the game.”
The visitors were dealt a double blow after just nine minutes when Henley was shown a straight red card for a last-ditched challenge on Murphy in the penalty area as the Norwich loanee looked set to open the scoring.
Reeves stepped up to coolly slot home to bag his first goal of the season.
The Dons went close again eight minutes before the break when Rob Hall cushioned Reeves’ pass into space on the edge of the box before the onrushing Jake Forster-Caskey drilled a halfvolley straight into the gloves of Steele.
Church did well to win the ball off Rovers defender Shane Duffy shortly after, but his attempt to curl the ball into Steele’s far corner sailed agonisingly wide.
Dons keeper David Martin was eventually tested on the hour when Jordan Rhodes met Craig Conway’s cross inside the six yard box, but the frontman’s well-timed volley was superbly saved.
And despite the visitors’ sustained pressure during a ten-minute period mid-way through the second-half, the home side made their one-man advantage count with a well-worked second goal inside the 71st minute.
Murphy was again involved in the action down the left flank, riding a number of Blackburn lunges before floating a cross into the six-yard box where Church was lurking to head home his second goal of the season.
And Reeves rounded off the win with a well-taken finish inside the box after Forster-Caskey’s through ball found the attacking midfielder in acres of space in the visitors’ area.
“I think in any game when you get a player sent off so early it will always affect the outcome of the game,” conceded Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer.
“What you ask for, though, is that the decision is correct - the referee sprinted to give it.
“Was the contact in the penalty box? Was it a foul in the first place? These are all questions that the referee has to be completely clear about in his head.
“The use of technology helps him out massively but we continue to ignore it.
“He’s outside the box and the lad’s made a meal of out it quickly, but the referee has to be 100 per cent sure that it’s a foul.
“We have to back bounce now on Wednesday and we have to regroup and look after everybody.”
RED-FACED: Adam Henley reacts after being sent off early on
STAR MAN JOSH MURPHY