Michael Folivi left with mixed emotions as his first Football League goal doesn’t boost Dons hopes of beating drop

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Michael Folivi admitted to conflicting emotions after scoring his first Football League goal – with AFC Wimbledon’s fight to stay in League One taking a turn for the worse.

The on-loan Watford striker, who turned 21 yesterday, flicked home in the first half at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday. But Charlton hit back to win 2-1 with a stoppage-time Igor Vetokele winner.

Folivi, who joined the Dons at the end of the January transfer window, has already had contrasting experiences in the game.

He helped Boreham Wood reach the National League play-offs in May but they lost 2-1 in the final to Tranmere at Wembley.

And he was an unused sub as Coventry City beat Oxford in the EFL Trophy final in 2017. The Sky Blues went from a high to a low as they lost League One status that same campaign.

And yet again there was good and bad for Folivi on Saturday.

Charlton Athletic’s Josh Cullen (right) and
AFC Wimbledon’s Michael Folivi battle for the ball

He said: “There are mixed emotions. It was great to get my first goal in the league but I’m hurting with the rest of the boys. I’m not happy.

“I’m glad I’m getting my games and my goals now. I’m a confident player, that won’t change. It would be great to get these boys out of the trouble they are in now.

“We took Charlton to the wire and should have got a point.

“We’ve got to go to the end and understand it has to mean a bit more to keep the ball out of your net.

“To concede a soft goal in the 90th minute, it is a big point we have dropped. It’s upsetting.

“Shrewsbury [on Saturday] is a six-pointer.

“I’ve been in a relegation scrap before, so I realise what it is like.”

Folivi lacks the physical presence of Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor, who led the line so well for the Dons before, but he caused problems for Charlton during a bright opening 45 minutes.

“My experience of Wimbledon is of them playing up front with a big man,” said Folivi. “But I can’t adjust my height for the league, so I have to put my game into these matches.

“I try and get the ball on the floor and turn – give defenders a different problem. They are probably quite used to playing against a big man and the ball being in the air. When I’ve got them running towards their own goal I don’t think they like that.

“I can’t change my game. I’m improving every day.

“I scored a few at Boreham Wood, where I was on loan last season, but this [a goal against Charlton] means a bit more. It could’ve been a bit better if we had got a point or three.

“My nephew said he thought I would score my first goal – and he’s normally negative! I think my mum must have mentioned it to him. My dad and my cousin were here.

“It would have been good if my mum could’ve seen it – she’s my biggest fan. I’m upset she couldn’t see it but she was messaging me straight after.

“That’s what you do it for, your family and a love for the game.”

 


 

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