• By Yann Tear

Downes downplays defensive woes which ended Dons' impressive winning streak


Wally Downes says he will not be panicked into making changes to his team’s defensive set up, in spite of the worrying frailties which allowed Gillingham to grab four goals at Kingsmeadow.

The Dons have been miserly in recent games and three clean sheets last week raised hopes of a fourth win on the bounce in their battle to beat the drop in League One.

But they shipped two goals in a matter of minutes just before the break and looked vulnerable to more punishment after that, eventually going down 4-2.

“Today was two set pieces that we’ve been good at recently,” said the Dons boss about the conceded goals.

“It was two goals in two minutes and I won’t be losing any sleep over that. The defence have been playing well.

“Three at the back’s been working well for us, and worked well for us in the first half as well – it just got away from us in the second half.

“We had a great seven games and only lost once, but I didn’t imagine we’d win the next seven games, so there was bound to be a speed bump at some stage and today was it, so we dust ourselves down and go again.

“Points are going to be taken left, right and centre, so it’s just a matter of getting your head down, winning the next game, moving on and going again.”

Downes had words of comfort for keeper Aaron Ramsdale, who was at fault for a tame second goal and might have done better to keep out Gillingham’s opening goal.

The Dons boss said he thought his stopper would bounce back from his below-par performance, and should not worry about a bad day at the office.

“People make mistakes and there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes,” he said. “You don’t try to make them, but they happen. You just move on, get going afterwards and I’m sure he will.”

“We let two goals in in two minutes and found it difficult to come back from that. I said to them at half time: ‘You’ve been the better side for 43 of the 45 minutes and I strongly believe you’ll go out and win the second half.' But we gave a poor goal away from a throw-in and it was uphill after that. It’s a lesson we’ve got to learn.”

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