Karl Robinson was an understandably happy man as his Dons side saw off AFC Wimbledon 3-1 at stadium:mk on Tuesday night.
The feisty encounter saw Kyle McFadzean score his second in two starts for the club to get things going after 19 minutes, before Daniel Powell and Benik Afobe put the result beyond any shadow of a doubt in the second half. Matt Tubbs scored a dubious late penalty to get AFC on the scoresheet in stoppage time.
Tubbs’ goal sparked a minor pitch invasion from the away supporters, something Robinson refused to let mar the overall game.
“You can’t judge AFC by the minority,” he said. “It’s the minority that want to have a go at us and they’ll always be there, and they’ll say stupid things.
“It was stupid what they did. We’ve got a lot of kids in the stadium, and making hand gestures like they were is not right.
“AFC made it difficult for us, but the players of Milton Keynes Dons stood up to the challenge.
“It was a really good performance, I thought the teams conducted themselves in a really good manner. That was a better AFC side than the one that came here two years ago. In the first half, they had the better chances, but we looked like we had the edge.
“It was patient. We had to play at our tempo. I didn’t want it to be a crash-bang-wallop affair, and the players had to play with their heads not their hearts.”
Jon Otsemobor’s ‘Heel of God’ goal was deemed the Goal of the Decade at last year’s Player of the Year Awards, but he may have another contender for the moniker after McFadzean opened the scoring with a deft flick of the heel.
Robinson though doesn’t think the nickname will catch on.
“You can call it what you want - it’s a goal!”
And the enigmatic Daniel Powell showed what he’s capable of, rattling in Dons’ second four minutes after the break. Robinson brought in the winger to replace Dean Bowditch from Saturday’s starting line-up against Gillingham, but wants Powell to show more consistency.
He said: “I said to Powell at half time ‘don’t go down the line, don’t cut off the opportunity to score’ and he did it. When he does that, he’s unplayable.
“The fans are torn with Powelly, because he’s either fantastic or doesn’t contribute enough. He needs to learn to contribute more consistently.”
Perhaps a blot on the book for Robinson though was the treatment of his midfield talisman Dele Alli. Kicked from pillar to post, but seemingly loving every minute, the 18-year-old was replaced by Mark Randall midway through the second half, for fears he was getting no protection from referee Dean Whitestone out in the middle - something which infuriated Robinson.
“Dele Alli had no protection from the officials,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to protect him. That’s the officials’ job.
“He was on a booking too, but the referee is in there to control the game and I didn’t feel we got that. There were some late tackles, but I had to make the decision for him, not the team.”
Robinson took issue with Whitestone’s awarding of the penalty too.
“That’s not a penalty. If the referee does his job right, it’s not a goal. But it’s not annoying, we’ve won.”