O’Hora devastated as refereeing decision costs Dons a spot in the FA Cup

Stevenage 2-1 MK Dons (AET)

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 6:00 am

Warren O’Hora felt the decision to send off Josh Martin in the first half cost Dons the game at Stevenage

Warren O’Hora felt the refereeing performance of Alan Young was poor during Dons’ FA Cup defeat to Stevenage on Tuesday night.

Playing for 75 minutes with 10 men following Josh Martin’s bizarre red card on the stroke of half-time - a decision which makes even less sense replayed back after the no-loan Norwich midfielder collided with Bruno Andrade - Dons almost survived to penalties, but Harry Darling’s trip on Elliott List in the final minute of extra time not only allowed Luke Norris to score the winner from the spot, but also reduced Dons to nine men.

O’Hora, who skippered the side at the Lamex Stadium, said Dons’ defence is well-versed in defending with a numerical disadvantage, regularly doing it in training, but felt the decision to send Martin off in the first half and the amount of time they had to spend a man light ultimately cost them.

“We came here to win,” he said. “We went down to 10 men early on, so it’s a frustrating one. At 11 vs 10, you automatically start dropping and even then, I think we gave a good account of ourselves.

“We work on it in training to be fair – 11 vs 10, sometimes 11 vs 9 so it’s not something we’re not used to. Obviously for that length of time, we got a bit leggy but mentally staying switched on is the hardest part.

“I think the ref was poor to be fair. It is what it is, sometimes things go against you. There was a questionable red card, these things can happen in football and we had to get on with it. And I think we did until the very end. It’s sickening to go out like that.

“We’re devastated to be out of the cup.”