'Brilliant refereeing' - AFC Wimbledon boss' verdict as official allows controversial goal to stand against Portsmouth

AFC Wimbledon’s controversial opener against Pompey was a ‘brilliant’ piece of refereeing.

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 12:30 pm
Mark Robinson. Picture: Alex Burstow/Getty Images

But Dons head coach, Mark Robinson, admitted his side were bested by Danny Cowley’s side as their League One survival was assured.

Pompey picked up a 3-1 win on their first visit to the new Plough Lane to give their play-off hopes a massive shot in the arm.

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But it looked a different story in the first half with the Blues under the cosh before they controversially fell behind.

Joe Pigott was clearly in an offside position from Ben Heneghan’s ball forward, before Ben Close was adjudged to have helped the ball on by referee Charles Breakspear.

Under the current offside law, that movement resets the offside phase bringing Pigott onside - in a similar way to how Bernardo Silva scored a disputed goal for Manchester City against Aston Villa this season.

Robinson told AFCWimbledon.co.uk: ‘I hate that word “survived”. I don't want it associated with this football club anymore, certainly celebrating survival.

‘There are lots of things we can be pleased about for the 20 games that we've been together, but today's performance wasn't one of them.

‘I am massively pleased for the fans and the club that we've stayed in League One, but in terms of how we went about our business today it was nowhere near good enough.

‘I thought for 20-25 minutes we were good, we were first to everything and created some good chances.

‘We got the goal from a brilliant piece of refereeing, but the next 10 minutes after are so key.

‘We weren’t organised, they scored early and that puts them back on the front foot.

‘They needed to win and after that goal, to be fair, they ran all over us and were better than us.’

Pompey’s victory came against one of the division’s form sides who have made good progress since Robinson arrived at the helm in February.

He added: ‘We’re second in the form league over the past six or seven games, and since we’ve been together over the 19 games we’re eighth in the form league. So people look at us and say we’re a good side.

‘They know we work hard so they’re going to come here and match that. If they match that we have to have the quality, mentality and resilience to rise above it.

‘We had that for 25 minutes - then didn’t have that for the rest of the game.’

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