Agard's red card 'killed us' - Houghton

Kieran Agard is sent off against Tranmere
Kieran Agard is sent off against Tranmere

Jordan Houghton was left questioning referee Matt Donohue after two critical decisions before half time against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

Ben Reeves had cancelled out Rushian Hepburn-Murphy's opener seven minutes before the break, but a tackle from striker Kieran Agard on veteran midfielder Neil Danns saw Dons reduced to 10 men - a decision many, including Houghton, felt was harsh. Following Reeves' strike, Dons had their tails up and were beginning to put pressure on the visitors, but the red card had a significant effect on proceedings, Houghton said.

"The red card killed us," he felt. "I was close to it, but I didn't think much of it, it was a firm challenge. The guy is rolling around and puts more pressure on the ref, who came charging over and as soon as I saw that I thought he had made his mind up early."

Barely two minutes after Agard was sent for an early bath, Connor Jennings appeared to elbow Dean Lewington in the face, right in front of the assistant referee. But Donohue opted to book the Tranmere man, who would go on to tee up Hepburn-Murphy for his second of the afternoon, putting the game beyond Dons' reach as Hepburn-Murphy went on to complete his hat-trick in the 3-1 win.

On that incident, Houghton said: "Those decisions are tricky. The ref has either seen it or he hasn't, but I'm not sure why it was only a yellow."