MK Dons goalkeeper David Martin defends Wimbledon fans following pitch invasion

Wimbledon denied by late winner in FA Cup second round

MK Dons goalkeeper David Martin defended AFC Wimbledon's fans after they invaded the pitch in their last-gasp FA Cup defeat to their bitter rivals, claiming he expected much worse.

After AFC Wimbledon's Jack Midson had cancelled out Stephen Gleeson's 30-yard scorcher, visiting fans spilled onto the pitch near Martin's goal.

Martin, who played two matches for Wimbledon before the club's high-profile move to Milton Keynes, then broke the League Two side's hearts by denying Steven Gregory one-on-one late on before Jon Otsemobor's flicked late winner.

Tensions ran high throughout the first ever meeting between the two sides and although MK Dons fans also invaded the pitch, Martin was unfazed.

Asked what it was like being in front of the Wimbledon fans, Martin said: "It wasn't too bad, I thought I was going to get worse to be honest.

"It was a bit hairy when they came onto the pitch when they scored but they were reasonably well behaved.

"You can understand the emotions that surround this game that will overflow sometimes - when they scored obviously it was a great moment for them.

"But they didn't really show any aggression towards me, so I was happy enough just to back off.

"It would have obviously been a fairytale for them to be going 2-1 up in the last minute but I'm employed by MK Dons and the chairman here.

"So it's a great thing to make a difference for any team that you play for, let alone in a big game like this that is unique.

"That's what I'm there for at the end of the day - it's great to actually make a difference in a big game.

"I'm just pleased it's all over now."

Martin was not the only former Wimbledon player on show for MK Dons - Dean Lewington made 29 appearances between 2002 and 2004 - and the goalkeeper believes the pair had it hardest in the build-up to the match.

He added: "Obviously me and Lewie (Dean Lewington) have got more of a connection after being at Wimbledon - I ended up playing two games for Wimbledon then obviously we moved.

"I think for us it felt a bit more real. It has been intense for the last couple of weeks in the build-up but as professional players you've got to overcome that.

"The boys probably didn't play at our best but you never know in these big games.

"Obviously there was a lot of pressure, there was a big crowd here which week in, week out we've not got at the moment.

"But we did well I think. I didn't have a lot to do but that comes with the territory of playing for MK Dons, unfortunately for me!"

Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley believes both clubs now need to put the game behind them and move on.

He said: "I'm proud of the players, We worked hard on a game plan as we felt it was our best chance of causing an upset and every player carried it out, to a man.

"My main fear was not doing the fans proud in this game and, despite hurting from the defeat, I think we did that."

PA

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