Dons didn’t look like they had 10 men says Smith

Pic: Lee Scriven
Pic: Lee Scriven

Alan Smith felt Dons more than held their own against Gillingham despite being down to 10 men for 78 minutes.

Tom Flanagan’s red card put Dons on the back foot as they went 2-0 down to two Danny Kedwell penalties.

Smith came on early to play in a three-man defence and was arguably the standout performer for Dons.

But he felt that with the benefit of hindsight, Dons should have shut up shop when equalising at 2-2.

He said: “It’s never easy coming here, and you know you’re in for a tough game. To go down to 10 men and 2-0 down so early, it made it even more difficult.

“Strangely though, we were the team that didn’t want half time. We got two quick-fire goals and got ourselves back in it.

“But half time killed us because Gillingham sorted out how they wanted to play against us and made it difficult.

“When you look back, it will be something we can learn from and take positives from. No points is the big thing.

“Naively, we wanted to go and win it at 2-2. Most teams with 10 men would have taken a point. We were going for it, and sometimes a bit too eager.”

Smith added that the players would rally around Flanagan and ensure he recovers quickly from his nightmare return to first team action.

“We all feel for Tom. We care about all the players here and we know how good he can be. It’s our job to pick him up. He’s a good kid.

“He’s gutted obviously, but that’s football. I’ll never have a go at people for making mistakes, because I’ve done it myself.”