IT MIGHT not have been pretty, but the fans got every penny worth of their 99p tickets as Mark Carrington’s late strike secured a 1-0 win for MK Dons against Dagenham & Redbridge.
After goals flew in from all angles against Plymouth last Tuesday, Karl Robinson urged his players to shoot more often. And in a game void of many clear-cut chances, Carrington’s 94th minute effort squirmed through veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts to gift Dons all three points as they began their run of four away games on the trot.
“We said after the Plymouth game, you see what you get when you shoot,” said Robinson after the game. “When you see how difficult the pitch is, it made it extremely tough for us to play, but we’re thoroughly pleased with the win and three points.
“I think Dagenham just shaded the first half, the only chances they had were through our mistakes. But we changed the system a bit at half time to put three up top, with Stephen Gleeson dictating the play in midfield.
“I felt we had two or three guilt edged chances, and I thought there was a penalty on Peter Leven. It was looking like one of those days where nothing drops for you. Then we had that ultimate bit of luck in the 94th minute.”
Carrington’s introduction to the game came at a price though - Sam Baldock lasted just 15 minutes in his comeback game before hobbling off nine minutes from time after going down unchallenged.
While Dons await results of a scan, Robinson was certain his striker would be out of Tuesday night’s game away at Leyton Orient.
Robinson said: “He’s as devastated as the rest of us on the bench. We all know how much quality Sam Baldock possesses.
“We can’t comment on the injury yet. It will take a few days to settle down - we have to wait for the scan results to come in, but I do know he won’t be fit for Tuesday, and we will be missing someone with pace and quality and who can score goals.”
The heavy pitch lacked pace and bounce, preventing either side from playing a passing game, often resorting to long balls lumped up to the big front men, and the result was ground out by Dons - not an attribute often shown by the team this season.
“We can play some good football on any pitch if you have the quality that we possess,” Robinson said. “Granted, we didn’t have as much of the game as we would have liked, but the players conducted themselves really well.
“It’s another string to our bow and another side to our game that has been questioned.
“We clawed one back against Exeter and should have gone on to win, and against a very tough team in Dagenham - a lot of teams would have taken that result before the game.
“We’re made up, but we move on to tough games against Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday, but it’s a start.”
On the sidelines, the two sets of supporters showed that there isn’t always a need for segregation, making their voices heard and creating a great atmosphere at a price of just 99p on the home side’s Daggers Against Racism Day’.
Robinson praised the 662 travelling fans, saying: “I can’t comment on the Dagenham fans, but I knew as soon as I heard about the offer that we’d conduct ourselves in the right way.
“Wherever we go, we sing, and enjoy the experience that is a rollercoaster ride called MK Dons. It was a magnificent day and the two sets of supporters should be proud.”
Dons will look to continue their improving away form against Leyton Orient on Tuesday night.