Karl Robinson hailed captain Dean Lewington after he scored an incredible winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time in Dons’ 3-2 win against Stevenage.
After a disastrous first half performance, which saw Dons trail to a Dean Parrett and Lucas Akins’ penalty at the break, Dons mounted an unlikely comeback, sparked by Jordan Spence’s goal with nine minutes of normal time to play.
Ben Reeves sensational strike a minute later pulled Dons level, before Lewington headed in late in the day to win it.
And Lewington’s goal, his first of the season, came after the captain spent the first half of the week on crutches after he thought he’d broken his ankle.
“It’s disappointing for someone of his quality to only just score his first goal!” Robinson said. “But he was on crutches until Wednesday morning. He’s a remarkable captain and he deserved that goal.”
Robinson admitted while he took off Daniel Powell and Izale McLeod off at half time, he could’ve taken off any of his lackluster players at half time. But he got the reaction he wanted.
He said: “It was great for the neutral. The wind was a real factor in the first half, but our work ethic wasn’t great either.
“I made two changes, but I don’t want people to think Powell or McLeod are scapegoats, but I could have changed any of them. And I told the rest of the players they were lucky to stay on. The subs made a massive difference.
“It was a cliché for obvious reasons, but they’re down there in a dog fight. You know the way Stevenage will set up against you, and they made it difficult for us to get near them. We had to really dig deep.
“The players rallied round and got the result. I think 2-2 would’ve been fair, but with the eight minutes added on and the wind and them looking nervous we kept knocking on the door and got the win.
“Bowditch had a sniff and Dele hit the post which I thought was in, but thankfully we took our chances when they came along.
“I’ve never turned around a 2-0 deficit around, but at half time I was wondering what my biggest defeat was.
“The result makes it so much sweeter. But there’s a long way to go. A lot of people wrote us off, including Stevenage, so it’s important that we keep digging deep and believing in ourselves.
“I love coming here, the fans make for a great atmosphere. I was told I was being sacked for 70 minutes by the fans behind me!
“It’s a good club and I wish them all the luck for the rest of the season.”
Robinson was joined by a familiar face alongside him in the dugout in the shape of Darren Potter, but the midfielder was in a different role, acting as assistant manager after news of Gary Waddock’s appointment at Oxford United earlier in the day.
And Robinson praised the former Wycombe boss and hopes he does well at the Kassam Stadium.
“I want to thank Gary Waddock,” he added. “He’s been an unbelievable person for me to lean on. I like giving people the opportunities, and I like seeing people progress and he’s going to do that.
“Oxford have a very good manager.”