Mark Roberts says penalty decision was the turning point in the game
The Cod Army left Kingsmeadow in disappointing mood after suffering only their second league defeat of the season, courtesy of goals from Harry Pell and Michael Smith just before the interval, but skipper, Mark Roberts believes things could have been different on another day.
Despite being the dominant side throughout the first 45 minutes, Graham Alexander’s men couldn’t convert their chances, with Stewart Murdoch firing against the upright, while Jamille Matt, David Ball and Jeff Hughes failed to capitalize in a goal mouth scramble.
Pell scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring for the Dons from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute, after a questioned decision by referee Iain Williamson.
Roberts said: “I didn’t have a great view of the penalty, but from what the lads said it was a bit harsh. The linesman has obviously seen something and given it from 40-50 yards away which is a bit unusual, but sometimes that’s football”.
Things went from bad to worse for the Lancashire side before half time, as Wimbledon doubled their advantage through Michael Smith. “We tried to regroup after the first goal and we should have probably seen it out until half time, but we were unable to do that. So, instead of going into the half time break on level terms, we’re all of a sudden 2-0 down and chasing the game”.
Having mounted recent comebacks in both the Capital One Cup and in the league, against Notts County and Burton Albion respectively, Roberts hoped his team would find some inspiration once again, but was disappointed with the side’s second half showing at Kingsmeadow. “We tried to change the way we played and get back into the game, but if anything, our performance was poor”.
“The gaffer told us that we’ve been in that position before against Notts County when we were 3-1 down, so at half time, we were fully confident we’d get something from the game and maybe even go on to win it, but we were unable to do that and unfortunately weren’t able to convert our chances”.
Despite Saturday’s setback, the defender hopes his side can now make amends on Tuesday night when they travel to Birkenhead to face Tranmere Rovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. “It’s up to us to pick ourselves up now, and go in on Monday fighting and raring to go. We were disappointed to come away with nothing as we felt coming into the game we could have consolidated that top 3 position after five games, but it’s all about how we react from here on”.
Town visit Prenton Parkon Tuesday in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Kick-off is 7pm (7pm) and coach travel departs Highbury at 4pm - cost £7.50 (season ticket holders) - £15.00 (non-season ticket holders). Please book at the club shop or call 01253 775080. Admission to Prenton Park is £10/£5.
.Cod Army PlayerThe full interview with Mark Roberts can be found on the