AFC Wimbledon manager Mark Bowen thought they would go on to win after they found the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with South London rivals Charlton Athletic last night.
Charlton went down to 10 men in the encounter in the 56th minute when substitute Ryan Inniss was sent off for a horror challenge just seven minutes after replacing Sam Lavelle in the second half.
However, the Addicks took the lead at Plough Lane in the 69th minute when Jayden Stockley was allowed space inside the box to plant Adam Matthews’ cross past Nik Tzanev.
The Dons equalised in the 87th minute when Ethan Chislett drove down the wing and played a cross for the waiting Zach Robinson to score his first League One goal for the club.
Despite having more than 60 per cent possession in the second half and a flurry of chances towards Craig MacGillivray’s goal, Wimbledon could not find the winner.
The Dons are now 23 without a win in all competitions but did end a six-game losing streak. They are four points from safety with five games remaining.
“We were slow out the traps,” said Bowen.
“We were too passive in the first half against them and never really affected the game. That can happen with a young side – the players feel the expectation at home. And with a new manager in place, sometimes that gets too much for them.
“We spoke a few harsh words at half time, and I saw an instant reaction in the second half. We were more positive, more on the front foot and wanted to make things happen.
“In the whole second half, we were the only team in the ascendancy.
“I was bitterly disappointed with the goal again. One cross, one goal and one header for them in the second half.
“For any club that is based in the situation that we are in, and had the season that we have had, that’s football. But, sometimes, playing against 10 men can be hard – they sit people behind the ball and make those distances small. The onus was on us to push forward and create, which we did well.
“The longer the game went on, there was only one winner. I thought we were going to nick it after we got the equaliser.”
PICTURES: LUCY DIXON