Martin considered three changes at half time to stop Newport rot
Russell Martin admitted he could have made three substitutions at half time, but felt he wanted to see how his players reacted after going 3-0 to Newport County.
In a dismal opening 45 minutes, Dons trailed after just four minutes when Tristan Abrahams tapped the hosts ahead, before a Padraig Amond brace made it 3-0 by the 35th minute to end Dons' run in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Though a better second-half performance saw Dons, who introduced Rhys Healey, Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh in the latter stages, restore some control over the game, they did little to test keeper Nick Townsend.
Speaking afterwards, manager Martin, who made seven changes to his side for the game, admitted he considered making all three substitutions at the interval but wanted to see how his second-string side would respond in the second period.
"I spoke about it, but it would have been emotional," he said. "At 3-0, the game was difficult to get back into. Jordan Houghton was an important one to keep fresh, but after offering them that opportunity in the first 45 minutes, I couldn't just take them off. I wanted to see how they reacted in the second half, and we were better.
"Unfortunately, the first half overrides that, and the disappointment overrides the second half completely."