Mark Robinson hails penalty hero Nik Tsanev following Dons’ victory

AFC Wimbledon v Northampton Town – Sky Bet League One – Plough Lane
AFC Wimbledon v Northampton Town – Sky Bet League One – Plough Lane (PA Wire)
18:28pm, Sat 27 Mar 2021
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Mark Robinson hailed goalkeeper Nik Tsanev for his brilliant last-gasp penalty save that secured relegation-threatened AFC Wimbledon a crucial 1-0 win against Northampton.

Sam Hoskins had a chance to snatch a point for the Cobblers with the last kick of the game but Tsanev guessed right and made a flying save.

Joe Pigott scored the winner for AFC Wimbledon in the 88th minute, forcing the ball home from close range.

The result moves the Londoners level on points with Northampton but they are still in the relegation zone on goal difference and Robinson admits they have a lot of work to do.

“I expected the worst when they got the penalty but it’s a fantastic save. It wasn’t even a bad penalty. He deserves all the accolades,” Robinson said.

“Even their bench were asking what it was for, which doesn’t help. We talked about creating more chaos in the penalty box and it was nice that we scored a scruffy goal because we haven’t really scored goals like that.

“But I don’t feel particularly great because we played well in the first half but without purpose. In the second half we went within ourselves. We got too deep and became safe.

“We didn’t create a lot. I thought it was going to be 0-0. I think a draw would have been fair. There is no elation, it is more about what we have to do better.

“We are a team that’s getting better but there is loads of work to do. If you get belief on the back of that second-half performance I think it is false belief.”

Northampton have lost three of their last five games and caretaker boss Jon Brady issued a rallying cry ahead of the run-in.

“I felt we dominated the game in possession and territory but not through any real chances, it is just that quality in wide areas,” he said.

“We are in a dogfight and there are going to be so many twists and turns but you never, ever give in and never stop believing even in your worst moments.

“If pressure of the occasion is getting to you, you shouldn’t be a professional footballer. They’ve been around about this position all season and now they’ve got to welcome it and work with it.

“In a perverse way, at least we are playing for something. We should thrive in the moment, not hide and be scared.

“I’m not saying they are but you’ve got to play the way we want to play, which is high energy. We are above that line and we will fight and scrap until the very end.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself, you have to dust yourself down, be brave and go again.”

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