Red card helped give Dons control as they brushed past Gillingham

Gillingham 1-4 MK Dons

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 5:44 pm

Liam Manning

Stuart O’Keefe’s first half red card played a huge part in Dons’ comfortable victory over Gillingham according to Liam Manning.

The former Dons loanee was twice booked after Gillingham took the lead through Vadaine Oliver on 20 minutes, against the run of play, giving away the penalty which allowed Scott Twine to equalise at the second attempt where he received his marching orders on 28 minutes.

From there, Peter Kioso, Troy Parrott and Max Watters fired home to pick up Dons’ second ever win at Priestfield, while lifting them to third in League One.

Manning said there could be no arguments for the red card, and said it allowed his side to control the game thereafter.

“It was a difficult game, we knew they'd be well organised and work hard,” he said afterwards. “I thought we started well in the first 10 minutes, they had a spell where they got in front but we got the goal back, and the red card played a big part. From there, we had to be disciplined and maintain focus and shift the ball like the we did.

“On a hot day, we had to grind it out, make them run and wait for our moment which came late in the game.”

Now up into third spot and undefeated in seven games, Manning said momentum at this point in his tenure is all important.

“Momentum and winning games is extremely important. We're not looking at the table.

“It's a difficult league, we'll have difficult moments, so at the moment we have to enjoy it and work out why it's happening. We have nothing but positive words at the moment.”