AFC WimbledonSport

Dons boss Jackson: We paid price for switching off at Gillingham

AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson admitted his side switched off for Gillingham’s late winner in their 1-0 defeat at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday night.

The hosts went ahead in the 85th minute when Jonny Williams floated a free-kick into the box and Macauley Bonne headed down for Conor Masterson to apply the finishing touch beyond Alex Bass.

Jackson’s side had a chance to go ahead moments before when Ali Al-Hamadi cut into the box on his left foot, but his effort, which left Gills keeper Jake Turner rooted to the spot, bounced off the post and rolled along the face of goal.

“I don’t think that’s what we deserved at all,” said Jackson, inset. “We were in control for large parts of the game, especially in the second half. I felt that we were the only team who were going to go on and win it.

“We limited them to not a lot at all and we applied a lot of pressure.

“We didn’t have loads of outstanding chances but we were really unlucky with Ali’s one where it hits the inside of the post – you think it’s a goal – and it bounces out. There were some other really good situations that we didn’t quite take advantage of.

“I didn’t feel that Gillingham caused us that many problems at the other end, but we switched off. They got that set-piece situation right. That can happen with a ball into the box. If you don’t defend it right, you find yourself
1-0 down and chasing the game.”

Play was delayed for 23 minutes midway through the second half at the Priestfield after a power cut saw the floodlights cut out.

The players returned to the dressing rooms before play resumed.

“It’s really frustrating,” said Jackson. “Just as we were really turning the screw, the lights go out. It was annoying it happened because it gave them a chance to go in and regroup.

“It stunted our momentum a little bit. It was scrappy for five minutes after we came back out, and then we went back on top again.”

Wimbledon host Isthmian League South East Division side Ramsgate in the FA Cup second round on Monday night.

It is the first time a game will be televised live from Plough Lane since the club moved back to their spiritual home in November 2020. Ramsgate – the lowest rank team left in the competition – have sold out their 1,500 away ticket allocation for the clash.

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