Handball decisions are costing Dons dearly - Robbo

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Karl Robinson was left to lament two hand-ball decisions in as many games which he felt cost his side five points in a little over 48 hours.

Dons slipped to their only their second defeat in 20 matches at Valley Parade as they let slip a 1-0 lead, gifted to them through a Jordan Pickford mistake to allow Dele Alli to score, as Billy Clarke and James Hanson capitalised on defensive lapses to give Bradford the advantage.

But in the build up to Bradford’s winner, Jon Stead later admitted he used his arm to control the bobbling ball to slip in Hanson.

And it’s something that left Robinson fuming.

“I’m sick of it,” he said. “I’ve not come out and criticised the referees this season, but it’s two in a row now. If I moan about it, I get told to get on with it. We weren’t good enough, but the referees have to do better?

“He said he didn’t deem it was deliberate, but when you see it live on TV, it just highlights how bad the decision was.”

The manager admitted though that he couldn’t use it as an excuse to gloss over what was an otherwise lackluster performance on an awful Valley Parade pitch.

He said: “We weren’t good enough, and we cannot deny that. Looking down at the pitch now... they’ve got better players to deal with that and we couldn’t match them. We played longer than normal, but it didn’t suit us. We were second to the ball, we looked shaky at the back - we just didn’t defend well with a team.

“Even at 1-0 up, I wasn’t happy and didn’t feel comfortable.

“Phil Parkinson is also frustrated with the state of the pitch, but in James Hanson and Jon Stead, they’ve got players and a way of playing on this pitch.

“Our players can’t cope with that, and the ball just didn’t move. Every time Dele tried to run with the ball, it bounced up off his knees. They were just better than us playing on this pitch.

“We’re gutted in there. We kept them in for longer than usual, and a few home truths got aired out in there too. I can see the pain in there.”

Dons remain third in League 1, but now have played more games than both Bristol City and Swindon Town, both of whom play on Tuesday night.

But with 17 games still to play, Robinson predicts plenty more twists and turns before the campaign is over.

He said: “It’ll be the team who adapts best to losing matches because losing in inevitable. I think Swindon and Bristol City still have to come here. If we felt the wrath of Bradford, I think everyone else will too.”