Bittersweet feeling for Accrington boss after Dons draw

Accrington Stanley 1-1 MK Dons

Sunday, 9th January 2022, 9:30 am

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman

Accrington boss John Coleman said despite being down to 10 men, MK Dons did not cause his side the sort of problems he would have expected during the 1-1 draw at the Wham Stadium on Saturday.

Liam Coyle’s 34th minute red card, with the match already tied at one each, forced Accrington to defend for the remainder of the game to continue their impressive run of late. But Dons struggled to carve out anything clear-cut, despite dominating the second period.

Coleman, who described watching Dons as ‘like watching the Royal Shakespeare Company’ during their 2-0 defeat at Stadium MK earlier this season, said the way Dons play means they were not likely to create as many chances as he would expect others to create against a team a man light.

He said: “Jimmy (Bell, Accrington assistant boss) said they're the last team you want to go down to 10 men against, but the nature of how they play they won't have the number of shots as they should in my opinion. They didn't put enough balls into our box, and we knew they would try and play down the side of us, and we limited them.

“Part of me is delighted that we didn't concede again, but part of me is disappointed with the goal we concede. I was delighted with the way we defended, but I'd have liked us to attack more.”

Coleman also hit out at referee Will Finnie, claiming the officials ruined the game by sending off Coyle for what he saw as a run of the mill challenge by the defender on Daniel Harvie.

“I'm disappointed really,” he continued. “Four officials can have such an impact on the game. They don't mean to spoil it, everyone knows that, but the fact is they have.

“There was no lunge, there was no intent. Yes, he's caught him and he's caught him with the studs but if everyone who catches someone with their studs unintentionally gets sent off you'd be playing five-a-side. It's a nonsense of a sending off.

“Everyone was surprised with the decision today. It's another major decision that's gone against us this season.”