‘A few choice words’ at half-time from Mark Bowen inspired AFC Wimbledon



Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2022 by PA

‘A few choice words’ at half-time from Mark Bowen inspired AFC Wimbledon

New AFC Wimbledon boss Mark Bowen believes a candid half-time conversation with his players helped them battle back to salvage a late 1-1 draw with 10-man Charlton at Plough Lane.

Zach Robinson cancelled out Jayden Stockley’s second-half header in the 87th minute to earn a crucial draw for the hosts, who sit third from bottom and four points adrift of League One safety.

After his first home game in charge of the Dons, Bowen admits his players were lethargic and lacklustre in the first half but a dressing room diagnosis spurred them into life ahead of a much-improved second period.

Bowen, whose side were up against 10 men after Ryan Inniss’ 56th-minute red card, said: “We were slow out the traps, too passive in the first half and didn’t really affect the game.

“I suppose that can happen with a young side, expectation of the home crowd and new manager in place, but there were a few choice words said at half-time.

“I saw an instant reaction in the second half and thought we were more positive on the front foot – for the whole second half we were the only team in the ascendency.

“I was a bit disappointed with their goal. It was one cross, one header, one goal for them in the second half but that’s football – we’ve got to try and nullify those.”

Charlton boss Johnnie Jackson was delighted with his side’s resilience to hold out for the draw after Inniss was dismissed in the 56th minute.

Inniss was sent off for a dangerous tackle on George Marsh just seven minutes after replacing injured team-mate Sam Lavelle.

Stockley went on to open the scoring just 13 minutes later but Jackson, whose team are 15th and visit promotion hopefuls Rotherham on Saturday, said: “We really put in a shift today – we were pretty much down to nine at the end.

“[Ben] Purrington had a problem with his knee and could barely move but he was still in there fighting, doing whatever he could to try and get the point.

“It was all stacked in their favour to get the win but they didn’t, we stayed strong and got the point.”

Jackson also voiced his disappointment towards Inniss after scuppering the Addicks’ chances in the second half, adding: “It’s poor. He’s overrun the ball and made a bad decision.

“He’s let his team-mates down, they’re out there after that having to graft and put in the work just to get something from the game.

“He’s just got back from injury and now he’s going to miss another three games.”

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