"We could see it from here," says Martin after controversial Doncaster equaliser

A 'blatant foul' on Lee Nicholls was ignored by the referee as Doncaster equalised late on to rescue a point against MK Dons, according to boss Russell Martin.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 6:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th December 2019, 6:11 pm
Russell Martin

Rovers defender Donervan Daniels appeared to bundle the Dons keeper out of the way during an 85th minute corner at the Keepmoat Stadium to allow Cameron John to equalise, cancelling out Alex Gilbey's 51st minute strike to draw 1-1.

It is now two points from a possible 36 in League One for Dons, but matched results around them to remain three points from safety.

John's goal was met with huge protests from the Dons players, who surrounded referee Scott Oldham afterwards to no avail.

Though Martin was not willing to point the finger at the referee for their winless streak extending, the Dons boss said Nicholls had already alerted Mr Oldham to similar altercations in the first half.

"It's a blatant foul," said Martin afterwards. "We'll go and show the referee in a minute, but Lee has brought it to his attention earlier in the game, asking him to watch for it, and he hasn't. The guy has tackled Lee into the goal, they score and no-one has seen it. It stings, we could see it from here, it's really frustrating.

"There are still small details leading up to that, we shouldn't have given away the corner, that's on us. But then you have to be able to see such a clear foul. I'm not saying it's the reason we've drawn, but it's a mistake from the referee."

Aside from yet another late goal conceded - adding to late ones against Rotherham and Bolton already under Martin's tenure - the manager felt his side had deserved to leave Yorkshire with the three points.

He said: "I'm really proud of the players and how they've played. We've come here to a decent team who have had some decent results and we've dominated. We stayed composed, stuck to the plan but it was disappointing not to hold on for the win. For me, it's another step, progression, improvement in what I've seen.

"Nothing changed at half time. They had to change things to counter us, we didn't change anything. We had courage and conviction to stick to what we were doing. And until the last five or 10 minutes, we had a real belief.

"Not many teams will come here and do what we've done in terms of possession and territory. It's not an overnight thing, but it;'s building. We're going in confidence with it. We need to keep believing it. The only thing missing was the clean sheet. No-one would have complained either."