One late goal gets another out of Dons' system

O'Riley's winner against Accrington helped Dons get over a late strike two weeks ago

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 9:00 am
Oxford's Elliot Lee celebrates his late equaliser against Dons

It was a late goal which ended MK Dons losing streak, but it was one a few weeks ago which hit them harder than Russell Martin anticipated.

Matt O'Riley's 93rd minute header against Accrington on Saturday ended Dons' five-game streak without a win, and though it only moved them one spot up the League One table to 15th, psychologically it means a huge amount to the dressing room.

Though the feeling of jubilation from the late winner will carry Dons into their third consecutive home game on Tuesday night to face an out-of-form Plymouth Argyle side, it was another late goal which hit their morale with the opposite impact.

Elliot Lee's 97th minute equaliser for Oxford United two weeks ago sucked the oxygen out of Dons' lungs as Karl Robinson's side snatched a point and it felt like a defeat. Coming just a few days after Dons lost to Shrewsbury, Lee's goal would precede three successive losses as form would evade Martin's men for the following 14 days.

Though Dons did still pick up a point from the game with Oxford, Martin admitted Lee's late strike had more of an impact than he initially considered but after the late winner over Accrington, felt his team have got it out of their system.

"That Oxford goal really hurt us, being 30 seconds away from winning," he said. "It has affected us, it was frustrating, annoying and hurtful and we haven't quite got over it well enough. But we've got to move on.

"We're getting back to where we should be in terms of performance, and today was a better peformance on the whole. It's nice to win in that way but it's too stressful for me!"