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League One

Robbo on defensive after another 'red'

22 August 2012

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson leapt to the defence of his players after his side were reduced to 10 men for the third successive game in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.

The 10-man Dons, trailing to Lewis Grabban's debut goal for the Cherries, hit back to snatch a point through Daniel Powell's second-half equaliser.

But midfielder Alan Smith was sent off in the 19th minute after appearing to mis-time a challenge on Cherries midfielder Harry Arter, who was replaced at half-time.

Robinson said: "People are obviously going to look at us having three red cards in three games. But Stephen Gleeson's red card wasn't, that one here wasn't either, but Antony Kay's was unacceptable.

"At first I thought it was a sending off, but I've seen the replay and it wasn't. Smith's gone to ground, he missed the ball by centimetres, and there's no great malice in it. I think the referee got kidded because two minutes earlier he committed a foul that was probably worse.

"But I've seen four or five tackles against us last week that were nowhere near as bad as that and weren't penalised.

"It's not as bad as their offside goal, or when their man [Chris Addison] should have been sent off when Powell was one-on-one. If I'm wrong, I'll come out openly and tell people. But we've got to move past the sendings off and we've got to learn that it's going to be very difficult for us this season."

Bournemouth manager Paul Groves could not hide his frustration after his side had failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Groves said: "The result was a disappointment - a massive opportunity missed.

"Obviously the sending off makes a difference, but I thought we pinned them back in the first half and were in the ascendency for long periods and the team more likely to score."

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