Cheltenham boss Michael Duff unhappy with ‘horrendous tackle’ in MK Dons draw

Cheltenham manager Michael Duff admitted a draw was a fair result (Bradley Collyer/PA). (PA Wire)
18:59pm, Sat 04 Sep 2021
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Cheltenham boss Michael Duff claimed MK Dons should have had Peter Kioso sent off for a “horrendous tackle” in their 1-1 draw at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Duff felt the Dons right wing-back should have seen red for a challenge on Liam Sercombe, two minutes after Kyle Joseph’s debut goal in the 14th minute had put the Robins in front.

Instead, the visitors snatched a point through substitute Hiram Boateng’s 87th-minute leveller.

“There was a horrendous tackle… and I’ve seen it back,” said Duff.

“I won’t change my mind – it was a terrible tackle and they should be down to 10 men and it’s a different game then.”

Despite that frustration, Duff admitted MK Dons deserved their point.

“They had a lot of the ball, but if you break it down to chances, I thought it was a fair result,” he said.

He added: “We are going to have to fight and scrap for every point in this league, we know that.

“We showed resilience and determination and their goal is actually a little bit lucky, but they’d had enough chances to score a goal.”

Swansea loanee Joseph fired the hosts into the lead with a low shot from 20 yards and MK Dons missed a host of chances before Boateng, who had been brought on in the 57th minute, smashed home the equaliser.

Cheltenham goalkeeper Scott Flinders, who had denied Charlie Brown with a fine stop just before the opener, kept out Boateng’s 58th-minute effort when he looked certain to level within a minute of coming on.

Brown missed two more clear opportunities for the away side before half-time, while at the other end Matty Blair fired wide after powering into the area and Andrew Fisher was at full stretch to keep out Chris Hussey’s 25-yard free-kick.

Cheltenham spent nearly all of the second half defending and visiting boss Liam Manning was disappointed at his side’s lacking of cutting edge up front.

“To come away with a point is not a bad thing, but you can’t create four or five good chances and not take them,” Manning said.

“We started too slow and lacked intensity. Credit to the players though for sticking at it. I was pleased with their attitude.

“Cheltenham are well organised and well coached and so difficult to break down. We knew we’d have to be patient and make them run.

“We’ve got some disappointed players in there which is a good thing.”

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