LUCK AT US NOW, SAYS BOSS KARL Hen­ley’s red lifts Robbo’s Dons

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Harry Wilmin

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

RED-FACED: Adam Hen­ley re­acts af­ter be­ing sent off early on

STAR MAN JOSH MUR­PHY

MK Dons

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