KARL Robinson has called for a look into the rules of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after his side lost out on penalties to Brentford on Tuesday night.
Robinson’s plea came after Shaun Williams was shown a straight red card in first half stoppage time for hauling down Myles Weston when he was through on goal.
Dons looked the better side in the 3-3 thriller, but Williams’ sending off means he will miss the all important League 1 game against Carlisle at Brunton Park on Saturday.
“I have a bit of a gripe with the competition,” Robinson said after the game. “It’s brilliant, but then I don’t think the cards should stand outside it.
“Teams like us can’t afford to carry suspensions. It was a definite sending off, but we only have 18 pros here and he’s missing for the next league game.
“We should really look at whether the suspensions should count in the league, but we now go into the Carlisle game with one recognised centre back.”
New Dons signing Charlie MacDonald continued his streak of scoring against former clubs as he pounced on Jay O’Shea’s corner to put Dons 1-0 up after 19 minutes.
Brentford fought back though and equalised eight minutes later when Adam Thompson ghosted around the back of the Dons defence for an unchallenged header past David Martin.
The Londoners weren’t level for long through as three minutes Luke Chadwick fired in to put Dons 2-1 ahead on the half hour.
With Dons cruising, Williams’ sending off just before the break unsettled the side, and Brentford set up for the second half with a high line in search of an equaliser and more.
Bees front man Gary Alexander netted two second half goals to put Brentford 3-2 up and heading towards the second round. But Dons weren’t about to go out of the competition quite so easily, despite being down to 10 men. A great piece of play between Dean Bowditch and Chadwick allowed the ball to be spread wide to George Baldock on the right flank, and his low cross was poked into his own net by Jonathan Douglas, forcing the tie into penalties.
However, 12-yard misses from midfield duo Darren Potter and Stephen Gleeson saw Brentford through 4-3, although Robinson was not too disheartened by the loss, even though he would have preferred to go through.
He said: “We’re disappointed to lose any football match. But we move on, we’re still unbeaten in 90 minutes. And going down 3-2 with 10 minutes to go, we showed great character to get back to 3-3.
“I hate losing – I can’t stand it – it really winds me up. And the players hate it too.”
But Robinson hinted that the defeat may be a blessing in disguise for Dons, as they continue to fight on two more important fronts in the Carling Cup and League 1.
“I don’t want to show any disrespect to the competition, it has been great to us in the past, but we have gone out now, and we turn our focus to the league, Carling Cup and FA Cup,” he said.
“The target is to win the league, not the JPT, no disrespect to it. It’s a magnificent competition, and two teams will have a great day out at Wembley.”
Dons now face a Carlisle side who had the Tuesday off as their JPT game at Accrington Stanley isn’t played until September 6.