Mark Bowen was left with mixed feelings after seeing his AFC Wimbledon side fight tooth and nail to earn a 1-1 draw against Milton Keynes Dons this afternoon.
Wimbledon certainly had the better of the first-half, deservedly taking the lead when Alex Woodyard struck home only his second goal for the club on the half volley after a free-kick wasn’t properly dealt with by the opposition.
For the best part of 80 minutes we more than matched our opponents and in the end it took a well struck volley by Troy Parrott to deny us victory.
Mark said: “First and foremost – forgetting the situation that we’re in – the biggest feeling I have is for our fans. We were so close to beating them. That’s what hurts. The players in the dressing room feel it too. It would have been brilliant to give the fans that win to go home with. We had a game plan to frustrate them. We did everything right. In the first half we had the best of all the play. I’ve been here three games and I think our goalkeeper has only had five shots to save.
“If you’re nit-picking you could maybe say we switched off (for their goal), but it was a fantastic strike and if he had that opportunity another 10 times it probably wouldn’t be the same outcome. We’re getting really, really harshly punished – it’s always one lapse of concentration at the moment.”
Woodyard’s opening strike was the highlight of a battling performance and Mark was quick to hail the midfielder for not only his goal, but also his all-round play.
“Purely on Woody, I’ve come into this situation, and I think this club is lucky to have someone like that,” Mark added. “He’s a leader. I’m lucky to have a captain like him.”
Despite seeing the lead slip, the gaffer was quick to emphasise that he had seen more than enough from his side to tell him and his staff that we have every chance of remaining in League One – especially with other results across the division falling somewhat in our favour on Saturday.
“I’m a glass half-full man. If we keep putting performances in like we did for the last four games, we can’t keep being kicked in the face by fate. We’ll be prepared. There’s a belief and a desire in the dressing room to get us out of the situation we’re in. It’s a challenge but bring it on.”
Mark confirmed that it is too early to assess the extent of Zach Robinson’s suspected hamstring injury, with the striker having had to be withdrawn in the second half.
Pic credit: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.