Lovell sick as Dons nick it at the death

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Harry Wilmin

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.”

L

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.