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Dons boss Jackson believes anxiety from last season crept into Doncaster draw

Johnnie Jackson believes that anxiety crept into his AFC Wimbledon side during the final five minutes of their 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

The Dons were on course to secure their second win of the new League Two campaign, with two second-half goals from Brentford loanee Nathan Young-Coombes putting them in the driving seat heading into the 85th minute at Plough Lane.

But an 87th-minute strike from Tommy Rowe and a 93rd-minute equaliser from Ro-Shaun Williams gave the visitors a point.

The Dons also fell to a late defeat in midweek during their EFL Cup first round game against Gillingham, who scored in the 89th minute and 91st minute to progress through to the second round.

Under a combination of Mark Robinson and Mark Bowen, Wimbledon lost points from winning positions on 16 separate occasions last season as they suffered relegation from League One.

AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers SkyBet League Two, Plough Lane, 13 August 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“Difficult to know, but what I would say is that the last five minutes were poor, and there was a little bit of anxiety crept in there,” said Jackson on whether underlying aspects of last season played a part in losing all three points.

“It can happen, but I expect us to be a little bit calmer in those moments than we were – be smarter in our football.

“They had four strikers in the end, and we allowed them to play the long balls up. You then open yourself up to the randomness of football, where you can lose a header and then where does the ball drop?

“We could have been smarter on how we kept the ball away from our goal. We have to work on that.

Young-Coombes’ second goal came in the 84th minute when he finished off Ayoub Assal’s cross into the box.

When asked whether some of his players switched off with the three points seemingly sealed, Jackson added: “I don’t think they relaxed.

Dons boss Jackson believes anxiety from last season crept into Doncaster draw
AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers SkyBet League Two, Plough Lane, 13 August 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“Football is never you – you have to see it out. We felt as though we were in a great position to win the game, but maybe some of the decision making was affected by the scoreline, thinking that it was done – making some decisions that we wouldn’t normally make in possession.

“It’s difficult to know.”

PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD

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