Lovell sick as Dons nick it at the death
DEAN Lewington’s dramatic last-minute winner extended Gillingham’s hopeless run to four-straight defeats, as they sit one place and two points above the drop zone.
And assistant manager Steve Lovell says it’s time for the players to roll their sleeves up and fight for survival.
The Gills were 2-0 down within the first ten minutes, but a spirited second-half display saw Cody McDonald pull one back before Josh Wright in the 90th minute to go level with just four minutes of additional time remaining.
But Dons captain Lewington – who’s amassed over 500 appearances for MK – headed home in the dying seconds to record their seventh home win in 11 games under Robbie Neilson.
“To lose it in the last minute of the game again is sickening to be honest,” said Lovell.
“We’ve spent a long time in the changing just now and had a discussion about it.
“To start a game like we did and conceding two goals like we did is not acceptable – and the players have to look at themselves. We do all the training in the week and once they go onto the pitch it’s down to them, and they have to dig in and roll their sleeves up for the final five games now.”
The hosts grabbed an emphatic opener as Robbie Muirhead unleashed a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner.
And Harvey Barnes slotted home minutes later, before the visitors clawed one back through McDonald.
MK defender George Williams brought McDonald down inside the box in the final minute of normal time.
That saw him given a straight red card as the visitors were gifted a late lifeline, before Wright stepped up to score from his own penalty rebound. But Lewington was first to Ben Reeves’ deep cross in the final seconds to head home his first goal of the season and secure a dramatic three points, with Gills’ bradley Dack picking up a second yellow card.
“We made a great start to the game and in the first half we were on top, but in the second half we made it difficult for ourselves,” said Dons boss Neilson.
“To their credit they managed to get two goals back and it’s a cruel blow at the end for them to be honest.
“We managed to pick up the three points; Dean Lewington’s goal shows his spirit for the team and what it means to play for the club.
“It got us the points on the board, and credit to the players here – in the first half we were great but in the second half we struggled a bit.”