Relief and frustration for Manning as Dons rescue a point against the Robins

MK Dons head coach Liam Manning was relieved to claim a share of the spoils as Hiram Boateng's late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town - but admitted to being frustrated his team didn't come away with all three points.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 11:28 am
Liam Manning (far right) issues instructions to his players during a drinks break at Cheltenham Town

After a sloppy start and going 1-0 down in the 13th minute, the Dons dominated much of the game and created plenty of opportunities to score, but it wasn't until substitute Boateng hammered home in the 87th minute that they got any reward.

The result leaves Dons 10th in the Sky Bet League One table, a point off the top six and three adrift of leaders Accrington Stanley.

"Credit to the guys in terms of sticking at it and grinding out the point," said Manning.

"Ultimately, when you look back on the game I think we started too slowly, and in the first 15 minutes we lacked quality and we lacked intensity.

"We were a little bit too deep, and I think they caught us by surprise in terms of their build up, but from then on we created a huge number of chances.

"We created several really good opportunities and we have to be more ruthless.

"To score late and come away with a point is not a bad thing when you look at how the game started, but there is a feeling of frustration."

Dons were without their three main strikers for the game, with Mo Eisa and Max Watters injured, and Troy Parrott away on international duty with the Republic Of Ireland.

That offered the chance for Charlie Brown to step in, but it turned out to be a frustrating day for the player, who passed up a string of chances.

"We have some good players that stepped in," said Manning when asked about having to cope without their three first choice front men.

"Charlie is a good player, and had some really good chances, but that is when you talk about game rhythm and chances.

"He has to take them ultimately, and I think if he is in match tempo then it might have been a different story.

"It is always difficult when you lose players, but it provides another opportunity for others.

"For me it comes down to whoever is playing, whoever it is, has to be clinical and has to be ruthless and take those chances."