Church pays Robbo back for half-time grilling

Simon Church's first half chance. He made up for the miss in the second half.
Simon Church's first half chance. He made up for the miss in the second half.

Karl Robinson admits he lost his temper with Simon Church at half time, but said the striker certainly made amends in Dons’ 3-0 win over Blackburn on Saturday.

Church, fresh from celebrating Wales’ Euro 2016 qualification last week, bent a shot around the post just before half time with his side already 1-0, courtesy of a Ben Reeves penalty, against Rovers.

Church after missing in the first half.

Church after missing in the first half.

But after the half time going-over by his manager, Church fired in Dons’ second just as Nicky Maynard was ready to replace him.

“He’ll say timing is everything,” said Robinson afterwards. “I felt sorry for Simon Church for his miss in the first half, I felt he made the wrong decision.

“I had a go at him at half time because I was very frustrated with him, but then he scored. He deserved it because he worked hard all week.”

Blackburn, who were down to 10-men as of the ninth minute when Adam Henley was sent off for downing the sensational Josh Murphy in the area, offered little resistance after Church’s goal made it comfortable with 19 minutes to go. Reeves added his second and Dons’ third late in the day to ensure all three points - and it was exactly what Dons deserved said the manager.

Robinson said: We were excellent, and we really came out the blocks. We were under no illusions as to how hard this was going to be.

“We were put under pressure for spells in the second half, but we coped against 10 men well.

“I thought Blackburn could have capitalised on our openness because we missed so many chances. But it makes the league table look much better. When you win, it makes a big difference down there. It allows us to move forward after the international break. The performances have been great recently, and we deserve the win.

“At 1-0, I was disappointed at the chances we were missing. But being sat here with three is fine. Goal difference is very important at this point. In the pack, goals and clean sheets are vital - obviously!”

The game hinged on Henley’s early red card and referee James Linington’s decision to award a penalty. Robinson admitted he wasn’t sure it was a penalty or whether the foul was outside the box, but said he’s happy for his side to finally be on the right side of the decision.

Robinson added: “It was definitely a red card, but it was questionable whether the foul was in the box. At the time I thought it was outside the box, but it’s about time we got a decision.

“I don’t want to win games through refereeing decisions, so we’ve ridden our luck. But it’s a result we deserve.”