AFC Wimbledon head coach hoping to land Leeds United in FA Cup third round

Mark Robinson believed his AFC Wimbledon side made “hard work” of their 4-3 FA Cup second round win against League One rivals Cheltenham Town.

The Dons head coach is hoping to draw Leeds United in the next stage of the competition.

Wimbledon found themselves 4-1 up with 16 minutes left, thanks to Ayoub Assal and Ollie Palmer both scoring a brace, but a strike from substitute Andy Williams and an own goal from Ben Heneghan set up a nervy last 10 minutes at Plough lane.

Nik Tzanev pulled off two outstanding saves in the final minutes of the match to book Wimbledon’s place in the third round.

Robinson named an unchanged side from the 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town in League One last weekend. 

“At 4-1, we came back brilliantly after the mistake for the first goal,” said Robinson. “For 60 minutes, we were excellent.

AFC Wimbledon v Cheltenham Town Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round, Cherry Red Records Stadium, 04 December 2021

“We made things hard for ourselves, but we have to take the positives – there are a lot of big clubs who have gone out, and we’re still in the hat. 

“We have been threatening to win games quite comfortably at times, and I thought this was going to be the one. But, one mistake for their second, and then an own goal for the third, and it looked a different picture.

“We made 4,000 fans sound like a stadium of 9,000.”

Ollie Palmer scores to put AFC Wimbledon 2-1 ahead Picture: Keith Gillard

Asked whether the 60-minute spell following Cheltenham’s opener was the best football his side had played all season, Robinson added: “At spells, because they are a very organised side who are very disciplined. 

“They couldn’t cope with us at times – we moved the ball so quickly, and our movement was so good. It was up there, but we made hard work of it in the end.

“I love the FA Cup – it’s incredible. I’m so excited about the next round, and hopefully we can get a nice home tie.”

Robinson also admitted he would like to take on Premier League side Leeds United in the third round, as he said he has a “soft spot” for their manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Ayoub Assal celebrates his second goal of the afternoon Picture: Keith Gillard



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