Once again Walsall were on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat – and once again manager Dean Smith was left crying foul.
A week on from the loss to Coventry which left the Saddlers boss claiming his side should have had a penalty, Smith was left scratching his head at two decisions which proved pivotal at Stadium mk.
Except this time, he had some support from his opposite number.
Dons boss Karl Robinson also felt referee Dean Whitestone’s decision to blow for a foul when Adam Chambers challenged Patrick Bamford was harsh, even though the resulting free-kick led to the only goal of the game from Shaun Williams.
To make matters worse for the visitors, Smith felt his side were robbed of an equaliser in stoppage time when skipper Andy Butler was penalised, even though he appeared to be the man being fouled.
It all added up to another frustrating afternoon for the visitors, who have been brought back down to earth in the past two games after their scintillating win at Swindon.
If anything, the Saddlers’ last fortnight has been proof if any was needed of just how competitive League One is this season.
Three games against teams with promotion aspirations have heralded a return of one brilliant win and two niggling defeats.
The manager and players now get a two-week break from the league campaign with an FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury to look forward to, and it’s perhaps a good time to assess where things stand at the moment.
We know, from their performances and results against the likes of Wolves, Leyton Orient and Swindon, the Saddlers are a good side – occasionally very good. The goalkeeper and defence seem solid, the midfield looks strong and there is competition for places all over the park.
But there remains a nagging sense something is missing, one final piece of the jigsaw which isn’t quite there.
Increasingly, that missing piece appears to be in the striking department.
Smith has already addressed, more than once, the central forward question and continually backed the current hitmen.
And when his team go and demolish a side like Swindon, he looks vindicated.
But 17 goals in 15 games so far – of which 11 came in just four games – tells a different story.
And it is in tight games like Saturday’s where any lack of firepower or cutting edge is most keenly felt.
David Martin, like Coventry’s Joe Murphy the week before, became the latest in a growing list of goalkeepers to have a relatively relaxed afternoon against the Saddlers. His only real save came from a first half Sam Mantom shot, with other efforts going well off target or, frequently, let down by a poor final ball.
Of course, Smith could point to the fact his side did score through Butler, only to see it disallowed. Regardless, the manager appears determined to stick with what he’s got and only time will tell whether he is proved right or wrong.
Both sides huffed and puffed through the first hour of the contest, with Mantom’s shot after he had been set clear by a delightful flick from James Baxendale the only effort on target of note.
That prompted his decision to throw on Romaine Sawyers in place of Nicky Featherstone but within two minutes his side were behind. Chambers appeared to win the ball cleanly from Bamford but the on-loan Chelsea striker tumbled, prompting Whitestone to award the free-kick.
Still it took a sublime effort from Williams to beat keeper Richard O’Donnell from 25 yards out, the ball going in off the post.
Chasing the game in the final 20 minutes, the Saddlers enjoyed their best spell but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
Butler thought he had levelled when he rose unmarked to head an Andy Taylor corner goalbound only to see it somehow kept out. In stoppage time he was foiled again – only this time by the officials – after racing on to a long pass and heading over substitute keeper Ian McLoughlin.