Contributor Mark Hendrikx looks back on a bad night for AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup replay against Sutton United.
Growing up I enjoyed many cartoons on television. I loved the heroics of Mighty Mouse, the battling nature of every episode of Transformers and the absolute comedy of Mr Magoo.
Yet everything that took place on the pitch had an air of relation to my favourite shows growing up. And being an AFC Wimbledon supporter, this analogy will sadly destroy my utopian perception of the hours I sat in front of BBC 1, ITV and Channel 4 as a youngster. Especially after tonight.
Before I go into the details of the match, I would like to extend my congratulations to Sutton United on making the fourth round and earning themselves a massive payday through TV revenues and winnings. If it would have been any other team, I think the level of disappointment I'm experiencing would be on a whole different planet.
The match played out as a complete anti-Oxford match. We scored the early goal, which we never do, and then in the 14th minute came one of the deciding factors.
Tubbs turns his man, Paul Robinson, on a through-ball and 'Robbo' pulls the shirt. Now there is a lot of contentious arguments being made as to if he was truly the last man, if his defensive partner Darius Charles could have covered in time, if James Shea could have beaten Tubbs to the ball. Or not. It happened directly in front of me and upon the split second of the shirt tug and Tubbs hitting the floor like a sack of potatoes, I will put my hand up first and say "Red card. Definitely." And so 'Robbo' was sent for an early bath.
And from that moment on we had the heart of Mighty Mouse: We stood up to a team of 11 with only 10 for an hour. Nay, we stood up and battled against a team of 14 versus our lowly 10. (I shall explain that analogy later)
When we had the ball, we bombed forward and attacked with gusto, the only problem being that the final ball was properly lacking. But we cannot disguise the heart we played with through until the equaliser.
The transformation of the team upon the early dismissal was non-existent, if I'm honest. Yes, we had to sub one of our players to fill the gaping hole of only three at the back, but we still stayed strong.
Lyle Taylor, our striker, was everywhere along with Jake Reeves, one of our dynamic midfielders. They started to run the show of 'stopping Sutton from playing'. It was a tactic we have performed week-in, week-out this season from the 60th minute onwards in order to maintain a lead.
However, the workhorses of our team were in for a torrid night. Seventy-five minutes of running around at one hundred per cent for those two players who have had practically no rest since Christmas was always going to be hard.
Mr Magoo was a complete comedic bumbling idiot. He mindlessly let everything go past him as he combatted a series of unfortunate events. Much like Mr Christopher Sarginson, the referee.
His short-sightedness on events throughout the entire match was something that simply exasperated me beyond any words. He whistled his metallic toy against our play at any beck and call. He stopped our forward play due to unfortunate minor infringements.
Yet he didn't whistle once when Sutton forgot that the game was football and not rugby and they caught the ball with their hands. Twice.
He didn't whistle with Dean Parrett was scissored from behind (a flying scissor action, I hasten to add). He didn't whistle when a studs-up challenge that left Lyle Taylor leaving Kingsmeadow on crutches (apparently).
His short-sightedness proved the comedic tonic for Sutton's supporters. My, they must be laughing themselves away to the bank. But we weren't laughing. We found this incredibly difficult to stomach.
Much like my parents expecting me to finish my homework instead of spending time watching cartoons.
Chesterfield away next. I hope I never see Mr Christopher Sarginson officiate another of our games. But apparently he's been earmarked for the big grudge match on our patch against the Franchise. Oh, I hope someone will find Mr Magoo his glasses.
Cupsets happen. Otherwise we wouldn't have the word 'cupset'! I may have sucked on a few lemons last night myself, but I still feel aggrieved that practically none of the decisions went our way.
I'll lay off lemonade for a few weeks. I'll stick to my cartoons. And a beer.