Paul Robinson seeking pain-free Pompey reunion

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A kick to the face and concussion cost Paul Robinson his AFC Wimbledon place the last time he met Pompey.

And the Hawks new-boy is hoping for a less painful reunion during next month’s encounter with his former club.

Paul Robinson was inadvertently kicked in the face by Christian Burgess when Pompey played AFC Wimbledon last seasonn. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Robinson was inadvertently kicked in the face by Christian Burgess when Pompey played AFC Wimbledon last seasonn. Picture: Joe Pepler

It was September 2017 when League One provided the battleground at Kingsmeadow.

Oli Hawkins and the Dons’ Callum Kennedy didn’t appear after half-time following a sickening clash of heads.

Robinson later added himself to the casualty list after Christian Burgess’ overhead kick crashed into his face.

Burgess was booked, while Robinson departed the match late on, leaving the hosts with 10 men after all substitutes had been used.

I had a little wobbler to be fair and took a nine count, although Burgess didn’t knock me out

Paul Robinson

Subsequently missing the next game, Wimbledon’s captain would start just five more league fixtures last season as Deji Oshilaja, Will Nightingale and Darius Charles fought it out for his spot.

Now the 36-year-old has left the Football League in favour of joining the Hawks in the National League.

And on Saturday, July 7, Robinson will once again face the club he skippered and represented 38 times.

He said: ‘It was a nice overhead kick in the penalty area.

‘I had a little wobbler to be fair and took a nine count, although he (Burgess) didn’t knock me out.

‘I didn’t feel too bad by the time I was walking off.

‘I was thinking “I’m all right, I’m all right”, but the protocol these days is there for a very good reason and we had to adhere to that.

‘Cal Kennedy was in a bad way for a good two or three weeks, though, he was caught good and proper.

‘To be fair, that injury didn’t affect my season in terms of timeframe. It kept me out of the next game, but the lads who came in my place did really well.

‘They had an opportunity to stay in the team in the longer term and that is why perhaps I then didn’t play as much as I would have liked.

‘They took their opportunities from that point – and after that I found opportunities harder and harder to come by.’

In addition to lining-up against Kenny Jackett’s men in pre-season, the Hawks also entertain Wimbledon.

Taking place at Westleigh Park on Wednesday, July 27 (7.45pm), it represents another reunion for Robinson.

He added: ‘Playing Pompey will be interesting, we also face Wimbledon pre-season.

‘I’m looking forward to getting back out playing regular football. I still love playing, I still want to be out there and feel I perform.’