Pompey boss blames Dons defender for Morrell’s straight red card

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Portsmouth boss John Mousinho pointed the finger at MK Dons’ Daniel Harvie for starting the melee which saw Joe Morrell sent off during the 1-1 draw at Stadium MK on Friday.

Morrell was adjudged to have been the violent party - initially missed by ref Carl Brook before being alerted by his linesman - for lashing out at the Dons defender five minutes before the break while his side were a goal to the good thanks to Connor Ogilvie’s volley.

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But after taking an early bath, Morrell’s dismissal left the door open for Dons to come back to claim something from the game, which they duly did through Mo Eisa’s 10th goal of the season on 65 minutes.

Speaking afterwards, Mousinho lay blame at Harvie’s door for Morrell’s sending off, believing the Dons man arguably did more to warrant a red card.

“Their player has got him in a headlock after putting a forearm in his face,” said the Pompey boss. “I can’t for the life of me understand why none of the officials have seen that.

“He’s just tried to get up and has shown great restraint, although the linesman says that he’s seen something. We’ll have to see what the referee puts in his report.”

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Keeping Leko quiet

Jonathan Leko barely had an inch to move in the first-half as he was man-marked by PortsmouthJonathan Leko barely had an inch to move in the first-half as he was man-marked by Portsmouth
Jonathan Leko barely had an inch to move in the first-half as he was man-marked by Portsmouth | national world

Dons’ dangerman Jonathan Leko barely got a sniff of action in the first-half, thanks in no small part to Portsmouth defender Di’Shon Bernard, who was tasked with man-marking him.

Mousinho said Leko’s threat had been high up on the agenda to stifle, with Bernard making his first start in almost two months to do the job.

He added: “We wanted an aggressive press and we just felt it really suited him to come in and man-mark Leko, which he did a brilliant job of.

“We were excellent in the first half and I was really pleased, not just in terms of the possession we had, but also the way we pressed.

“The red card has obviously changed things completely.”

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