‘Not today, Benik’ says keeper Martin

David Martin
David Martin

David Martin may be friends with Wolves’ Benik Afobe, but the Dons keeper told the striker there’d be no way he would score against him in the 0-0 draw at Molineux on Saturday.

Afobe left Dons last January when parent club Arsenal ended his loan at stadium:mk prematurely to force through a £2 million deal to Wolves, but couldn’t find the back of the net against his former club despite a glut of chances.

Martin saved twice in the first half from the 22-year-old, before making three more to keep him at bay in the second half as Wolves poured forwards.

The pair shared a hug and a laugh at the full-time whistle, and the keeper admitted telling Afobe today wasn’t going to be his day.

“He had a great chance in the first half. But he asked ‘Dave, any chance of letting me score?!’ I just told him no way! We’re friends, but not that close!

“He’s a lovely lad, not just in the dressing room. He glides past people, and we always felt confident when he was on the pitch. He only needs half a chance. Not today though!

“They had danger all over the place. Henry out wide, Le Fondre coming on, and the other lad on the other flank.

“We always felt there’d be a goal somewhere because they created so many chances. Thankfully, we were lucky at times.”

Martin was on top form as Dons kept a clean sheet and escaped with a point, but it was the worst performance of the season, according to the man between the sticks.

“It was the hardest I’ve had to work for a clean sheet in my whole career,” he said. “It was tough going.

“It was probably as poor as I’ve seen us all season. It was just wave after wave. As soon as we got the ball, we’d lose it and they’d counter. We couldn’t get out. We created our own problems, but I enjoyed it anyway!

“The 90 minutes dragged for most, but it was rapid for me. It was good to get so many touches and make a difference for the team. The defence did well in front of me and we dug it out today.”

Ironically, last week’s point against Fulham saw Dons drop into the relegation zone despite dominating, while a week later, a point under unlikely circumstances sees Karl Robinson’s side jump up to 19th in the table.

And now two games without defeat, Martin hopes Dons can begin to string a few results together and edge away from the danger zone.

He said: “It’s so tight down here, but we’ve got to look forward now to Brentford. I’d like a bit more breathing space, but one or two results can do that for us.

“To go three unbeaten would be great for us. We don’t want to be looking at the table and getting scared just yet.

“It’ll be like this all season. We know we’re the minnows, and we’re the underdogs. It’s strange compared to last season but it’s a great place to play your football. It’s good to test yourself at this level.

“We held our own against Fulham, and it makes you feel like we belong here. We just need a few more wins to make us feel more at home.”