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Archived News from December 2014

24th December 2014 17:06

Football League - Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Oliver 47. Taylor sent off 31
Attendance: 3790 (178 from Mansfield)

Date: 20 December 2014

Martin Shaw at Kingsmeadow

Mansfield Town won at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon despite playing for over an hour with ten men after Rob Taylor was sent off. It was a magnificent performance of skill, guts, determination, spirit, superb defending and an outstanding goalkeeping display from Dimi Evtimov. The Stags started well and were on top for the opening 30 minutes with Matt Rhead hitting the post and other chances going begging. But on 31 minutes, Rob Taylor dived in with a lunging challenge on Sammy Moore and Barry Fuller, Taylor making contact with his studs, and it was little surprise that referee Darren Deadman pulled out a red card. A very poor challenge from Taylor and one that left his teammates right up against it for an hour. (sidenote: from my angle it looked a clear red card. The match DVD was filmed from behind me and looked the same. Alex Fisher was sitting a yard from me and thought it was a red card. The camera angle shown on Football League Show is from the other side of the ground and with the different angle, looks a bit different.) For the rest of the half, the Stags were no longer on top as the game was more even with the Stags digging in. Two minutes into the second half, Mansfield were deservedly in front, as centre half Jake Goodman made a hash of trying to head Luke Waterfall’s long ball back to his keeper, and only succeeded in heading it into the path of Vadaine Oliver who shrugged off Goodman’s attempt to bring him down before firing underneath keeper James Shea from the right hand side of the area. A clinical finish from Oliver. The Stags had two glorious chances to extend the lead just after the hour as keeper Shea superbly turned away Rhead’s downward header and then from the resulting corner Shea made an even better save somehow tipping over Luke Waterfall’s superb header. It had me remembering the goalkeeping performance from Ross Worner for Wimbledon last season here that denied the Stags a victory. But this time it wasn’t to be a Wimbledon keeper taking all the headlines, it was the Stags’s Dimi Evtimov who went on to produce a string of great saves, including three saves in one attack in stoppage time. In front of Evtimov, the defence were superb, with Luke Waterfall outstanding at centre half. Whilst Evtimov and the defence were superb, there was no luck about this victory, it was thoroughly deserved. The win, with ten men for over an hour, was probably only topped in recent history of wins of this kind by the win with nine men at Cambridge in 2003 and the feeling at the end of the game was similar to what I remember that day. Sensational. The Stags do need to follow this up though with victory over bottom placed Hartlepool on Boxing Day, which of course won’t be easy with Hartlepool having just appointed a new manager.



Saturday, 20th December 2014: AFC Wimbledon 0 Mansfield Town 1
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

A valiant display by 10-men Mansfield Town saw them cling on to produce a memorable first win in full-time charge for new boss Adam Murray as they triumphed 1-0 at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.


After Rob Taylor had been sent off for a two-footed challenge on 32 minutes, Vadaine Oliver gave Stags a shock lead two minutes into the second half.

Then, with keeper Dimitar Evtimov on brilliant form and Stags defending for their lives, they held on to what they had for a first win in five matches and Murray’s first win at the fourth attempt under severe pressure from the Dons.

Chris Clements was energetic and a real force in central midfield while loanee Luke Waterfall had his best game in a Stags shirt as the pick of an outstanding defence.

But Murray’s men were all heroes in a nailbiting game.

Once again Murray shuffled his pack, making five changes for the third successive game.

The loanee trio of keeper Evtimov, defender Keiron Freeman and winger Junior Brown, who were all not allowed to play in the midweek FA Cup defeat by Cambridge, returned to the side.

Midfielder Jamie McGuire and striker Matt Rhead were also given a start in a 3-5-2 shape with Brown playing in the hole.

Those changes saw Sascha Studer, Rakish Bingham, Ollie Palmer, and Simon Heslop drop to the bench and Lee Beevers left out of the squad.

Mansfield began the afternoon with a first minute scare after conceding a free kick on the left, Francomb floating it in, Akinfenwa heading on towards goal and only an offside flag halting a worrying scramble.

The dangerous Akinfenwa stayed down after the scramble for treatment, once up again he was clearly in some pain as he tried to run the knock off and on five minutes gave up and was replaced by Azeez.

The game was ebb and flow until the 14th minute when Rhead came so close to opening the scoring.

Clements caught the Dons napping with a quickly-taken free kick on the left that saw Taylor drill the ball powerfully across the box to the far post where Rhead stabbed a first time finish against the base of the upright.

Two minutes later Rhead was wide with an ambitious low effort from 30 yards.

Waterfall was bullied out of it by the turn of sub Azeez as he powered into the box on the left, but Waterfall stuck with his task and did well to get back at the striker, get his body between player and ball and see it out for a goalkick.

Evtimov had to be alert to grab a Tafazolli backheader that threatened to find a way past him for an own goal.

Then at the other end Taylor was too high with a 30-yard dipper.

Taylor went on a fabulous run from wide of the left, inside and down the centre. Bursting past four opponents, he then squared the ball to Rhead to finish, but the striker had halted his run and a moment of high promise ended.

A good tackle by Moore on 28 minutes halted a good burst into the box by Brown to win the game’s first corner.

There was a hold-up as Taylor received treatment for an injury to his left ankle, then an offside flag stopped Clements attempts to get the ball in for a second time after the corer was half-cleared.

A throw by Taylor on the left was flicked on by Rhead and then headed on target by Oliver, the catch always easy for Shea.

At this stage there had been little incident and little choose between the sides.

However, the game exploded on 32 minutes as Taylor lunged into a two-footed challenge that left two opponents, Fuller and Moore on the floor and an immediate red card for the Stags man.

Moore needed lengthy treatment but was able to continue.

Rhead set up Oliver for a chance outside the box which saw Moore challenge him from behind and cause the striker to miscue, but no foul was given.

Tafazolli was late with his tackle on Tubbs on 40 minutes, earning a deserved yellow card.

The first half stoppages saw eight minutes added in which the Dons cleared their lines after Waterfall had nodded a Clements free kick into the six yard box.

Oliver was booked in the seventh minute of stoppage time for what the referee deemed to be deliberate handball. And just before the whistle Francomb whistled a shot just over the right angle from 20 yards as the half ended scoreless.

However, the 10 men roared ahead within 90 seconds of the restart.

Goodman failed to cut out a long ball forward and Oliver wrestled his way goalside of Goodman to go clear on the right, ran into the box and slotted a low finish past Shea.

Soon after Oliver had another shot which failed to find its target but also saw the front man pull up injured, but he attempted to continue after treatment.

Tubbs pulled a low first time shot well wide for the Dons on 51 minutes.

A 30 yard thunderbolt from Bulman on 53 minutes was tipped over superbly by Evtimov.

From the corner Evtimov had to get down well again as Waterfall inadvertently directed the ball at his own goal.

Rhead headed away another corner and, when the ball was put back into the middle, Tubbs had a shot blocked.

On 56 minutes Oliver finally limped off, replaced by Bingham.

Rig’s foul on Freeman on 57 minutes saw him booked with Brown joining him a minute later for his foul on Francomb.

On 61 minutes Rhead almost doubled the lead for Stagts only to see Shea make a great save from his header from a Freeman cross.

From the corner Waterfall guided a header on target which again the keeper proved equal to.

Soon after Barrett headed harmlessly wide at the far post from the Dons’ third corner of the half.

Evtimov had to get down to grab a low sidefooted effort from Moore from the edge of the box, which came at him through a crowd of players, as Stags hung on under a period of intense home pressure.

On 68 minutes Evtimov was back in action, beating away another Moore effort from similar range.

Another Mansfield corner saw Waterfall head well over as the visitors enjoyed some relief from the pressure.

Sub Azeez was subbed himself on 74 minutes, replaced by Oakley.

On 79 minutes Goodman was yellow-carded for bringing down Clements.

A minute later from a home corner, Moore drilled a low finish towards the near post where Evtimov got down superbly to touch the effort onto the post and Tafazolli cleared.

Goodman nodded wide from another home corner as we reached the last eight minutes.

A rare Stags broke saw Rhead over-hit his final pass that would have sent Bingham clear.

Heslop was sent on for fresh legs for the excellent Clements with six minutes to go.

On 86 minutes Freeman saw the latest yellow card for kicking the ball clear after a free kick had been awarded.

Rhead stayed down for treatment and was eventually replaced by Palmer with just three minutes to go.

Tubbs was inches wide with his flicked header from a powerful Francomb free kick as the final whistle neared.

As Stags broke upfield, Sutton saw a low shot win a corner and bought some time.

But, with six minutes added on, the home side were soon back on the offensive and Evtimov threw himself into another great save to block a Tubbs blast and, as a scramble followed, he also had to get in the way of an Oakley shot from eight yards before a Barrett effort deflected out for a corner.

The tension was almost unbearable as the Dons laid seige to the Stags box in the final minute, but when Pell sent an unstoppable heafder inches wide from Kennedy’s left wing cross with the last touch of the game, brave Stags were home and dry.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Shea, Fuller, Kennedy, Moore (Pell 84), Barrett, Goodman, Rigg, Bulman, Akinfenwa (Azeez 5, Oakley 74), Tubbs, Francomb. Subs not used: McDonnell, Harrison, Nightingale, Sutherland.

STAGS: Evtimov; Sutton, Tafazolli, Waterfall, Freeman; Brown, Clements (Heslop 84), McGuire, Taylor; Rhead (Palmer 87), Oliver (Bingham 56). Subs not used: Studer, Riley, Lambe.

REFEREE: Darren Deadman of Cambridgshire.

ATTENDANCE: 3,790 (178 away).



Home blues for Dons
afcwimbledon.co.uk report, Author: Chris Slavin

A frustrating afternoon for Wimbledon

Wimbledon slipped to a second successive home defeat this afternoon after failing to break down a Mansfield side reduced to 10 men with almost an hour left to play.

Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/home-blues-for-dons-2156139.aspx#DZQio5Khv11x3auy.99

The visitors had Robert Taylor red carded for a late challenge on Sammy Moore (pictured), but they managed to hold on for a 1-0 win in a scrappy League 2 contest.

With the Dons having won two successive games, it was no surprise that Neal Ardley decided to keep an unchanged starting line-up. It was a proud day for the AFC Wimbledon academy with home-grown trio Ben Harrison, George Oakley and Will Nightingale all named among the substitutes.

The Dons made a fast start and threatened to make a breakthrough in the very first minute. George Francomb swung in an excellent free-kick that Bayo Akinfenwa reached before Mansfield goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov, but the flag was up for offside before Jake Goodman’s attempt to apply the finish. Akinfenwa required lengthy treatment after a collision in the box and the striker was forced to accept the inevitable five minutes in as Ade Azeez replaced him.

Despite establishing good early possession, Wimbledon could have fallen behind in the 14th minute. A quickly taken free-kick put Robert Taylor in plenty of space down the left and his cross was met by a volley from Mansfield striker Matt Rhead, but the ball bounced off a post and away from danger.

Mansfield had belied their lowly 19th position in the League 2 table during the first half hour with a stubborn defence and a threat in attack. However, the game was transformed shortly afterwards when Mansfield’s Robert Taylor was red carded for a reckless challenge on Sammy Moore. Thankfully, Moore was up on his feet again after receiving lengthy treatment from physio Stuart Douglas. With home fans growing impatient with Mansfield’s robust approach, Ryan Tafazolli inflamed the situation further with a late challenge on Francomb, but this time referee Darren Deadman reached into his pocket for just a yellow card.

There had been little to enthuse about in the first half with neither side managing to create much in a scrappy 45 minutes. The stop-start nature of the first half was summed up by eight minutes of injury time. Only an effort from Francomb came close to making a breakthrough for Wimbledon as he produced a fine curler that flashed just wide.

Wimbledon had a whole 45 minutes to break down 10 men, but the Dons fell behind less than two minutes into the second half. A long ball over the top caused Wimbledon all sorts of problems and Vadine Oliver pounced on a weak Jake Goodman header to make it 1-0. It was clear what Mansfield’s tactic would be from this moment onwards as they sat deep and soaked up Dons pressure. With Wimbledon struggling to open up their opponents, Dannie Bulman took matters into his own hands and let fly with a fierce drive that Mansfield goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov did well to tip over. Mansfield then just scrambled the ball away from Francomb’s cross as Wimbledon started to raise the tempo.

The Dons twice had James Shea to thank for staying in it just after the hour mark. The goalkeeper reacted superbly to tip a powerful header from Rhead wide and then he produced a save of even better quality to tip Ryan Tafazolli’s effort over. At the other end, Wimbledon finally started to exert a sustained spell of pressure midway through the second half. Sammy Moore was twice denied by Evtimov in quick succession as the Dons started to open up gaps against the 10 men.

With Wimbledon struggling to make an impression against a stubborn defence, Neal Ardley made a change with 15 minutes left as George Oakley replaced Azeez up front. Oakley was straight into the thick of it and he almost reached a cross from Barry Fuller, but Evtimov got there first. Wimbledon piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes and Moore was denied once again by Evtimov, before Oakley headed just wide.

Harry Pell was thrown into the mix with seven minutes remaining as Wimbledon launched everyone forward in search of an equaliser. However, one felt it was not going to be Wimbledon’s day when Sean Rigg nodded a cross from Barry Fuller right across goal, but the ball failed to drop to a Dons player. Then Pell headed Francomb’s well delivered free-kick just wide from close range.

Wimbledon had six minutes of added time to conjure up an equaliser and they came so close to doing that. Fine play from Rigg put Matt Tubbs through, but he was foiled by Evtimov, who pulled off an even better stop to deny Oakley and then the goalkeeper made it a treble save to keep out Pell.

There was still another chance for Wimbledon after Callum Kennedy put over a searching cross, but Pell headed just wide and the Dons will now be aiming to get back on track at Portsmouth on Boxing Day.

AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Callum Kennedy, Sammy Moore (Harry Pell), Adam Barrett, Jake Goodman, Sean Rigg, Dannie Bulman, Bayo Akinfenwa (Ade Azeez, George Oakley) Matt Tubbs, George Francomb.


AFC Wimbledon slump to Mansfield defeat as Akinfenwa suffers injury scare
london24.com report by Adam Harwood at the Cherry Red Records Stadium

AFC Wimbledon slipped to a second successive home defeat as lowly Mansfield Town grabbed a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory thanks to a 47th-minute goal by Vadaine Oliver.

The visitors played for over an hour with ten men following the early dismissal of Rob Taylor, but the Dons failed to break down a stubborn defence once Oliver had slotted a breakaway under home keeper James Shea. Worryingly, Adebayo Akinfenwa limped off after just three minutes, putting him in immediate doubt for the remaining games of the festive period.


It was Taylor who provided the first glimpse of anything creative in the 13th minute, during a quiet opening spell. His good work down the left side led to a cross which flashed across the face of goal, Matt Rhead reacting first with a low half volley that smacked the foot of the post. Taylor then hit a piledriver which went a few yards over the bar.

But the Mansfield midfielder lost his head on the half hour, putting in a two footed challenge on Sammy Moore which left referee Darren Deadman with no alternative then to show the red card.

Wimbledon nonetheless remained quiet despite their numerical advantage, and only a curling shot by Barry Fuller late in the half provided anything in the way of goalmouth action.

The hammerblow came just two minutes into the start of the second period. A long ball over the top of the Dons defence looked harmless enough, but Jake Goodman’s header back to the keeper was weak, allowing Oliver to pounce and slot through Shea’s legs.

Wimbledon tried to respond, with midfielder Dannie Bulman’s piledriver being well tipped oer by the excellent Dimitar Evtimov in the Mansfield goal. But Mansfield remained a threat on the break, with Shea pulling off a superb stop to deny a downward free header from Rhead.

The Dons enjoyed the bulk of possession but wasteful attacking and superb blocking restricted their chances, with only a couple of Sammy Moore efforts stinging Evtimov’s palms.

Despite six additional minutes, in which Evtimov was on hand to produce some stunning close range stops during a few Wimbledon goalmouth scrambles, the Stags held on. Wimbledon remain in the bottom half ahead of testing games against Portsmouth and Exeter, before the huge FA Cup tie against LIverpool.

AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Goodman, Barrett, Kennedy, Francomb, Moore (Pell), Bulman, Rigg, Akinfenwa (Azeez (Oakley)), Tubbs

Attendance: 3,790 (178 Mansfield fans)



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