BELOW PAR STAGS HANG ON FOR IMPORTANT POINT
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 AFC Wimbledon
Clements 15. Elliott 6.
Attendance: 3042 (208 from Wimbledon)
Date: 5 September 2015
BELOW PAR STAGS HANG ON FOR IMPORTANT POINT AGAINST AFC WIMBLEDON
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town picked up a third consecutive home 1-1 draw, against AFC Wimbledon at Field Mill this afternoon. Mansfield were not too impressive through most of the game and a point was probably more than we deserved. But there is an important characteristic of being to pick up points when you don’t play well, and so providing you do play well on occasions, such as we did away to York and Notts County, then points from games like this will keep you in the top half of the table. Mansfield are 8th after 6 games, though will drop to 9th tomorrow, which is a more than satisfactory start to the season following on from last season. Mansfield were behind after 6 minutes for the second Saturday running, as former Cambridge striker Tom Elliott fired home powerfully from the edge of the box underneath Brian Jensen following a big goal kick that had been headed out by Tafazolli then slid forward to Elliott by George Francomb. Mansfield hadn’t been in the game but a brilliant free-kick from Chris Clements on 15 minutes brought the equaliser. Clements fired over the wall and into the bottom left corner from 25 yards giving the keeper no chance. By half time, the game was fairly even. Wimbledon got on top in the second half with several players impressing including Elliott, Rigg and Francomb and Mansfield were hanging on. Wimbledon were unable to find the net though and during stoppage time, Wimbledon sub Lyle Taylor was sent off for an alleged elbow on Nicky Hunt, which looked harsh. With virtually the last kick of the game, Mansfield came within a whisker of stealing all three points with another free kick from Clements, this time from the edge of the D, which just flashed past the left post. Clements was Mansfield’s clear man of the match, though Pearce, Tafazolli and keeper Jensen also played well. Otherwise though Mansfield gave the ball away too often and gave Wimbledon too much space on the wings allowing too many crosses in. The Stags created very little going forward with Green isolated and cutting a frustrated figure at the lack of decent service and with too many inaccurate long balls forward from the back.
Saturday, 5th September 2015: Mansfield Town held by AFC Wimbledon for third home draw in a row
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas, Saturday 05 September 2015
Mansfield Town had to be content with a third successive 1-1 home draw as they were held by AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
That left the Dons unbeaten away from home and Stags still looking for their first home win.
The visitors ended the game with 10 men when sub Lyle Taylor was sent off for an elbow on Nicky Hunt in the fourth minute of stoppage time. But it came too late to make a difference.
A slow start by Mansfield saw Tom Elliott grab a sixth minute lead only to see Chris Clements level with a superb 15th minute free kick.
That sparked Stags into life and they created some decent chances, twice seeing efforts cleared off the line and Ryan Tafazolli miss a great headed opportunity.
But as the game wore on, it was Brian Jensen who was the busier of the two keepers with Matt Green often isolated on his own up front and given poor service all game.
Mansfield’s best moments came through the vision and tenacity of Chris Clements.
But it took some excellent defending from Tafazolli and Krystian Pearce to maintain a point in the end.
Boss Adam Murray fielded the same side that won at York City last weekend.
That meant reversing the six changes made in midweek when Murray rested six of his side for the JPT exit at Notts County.
Murray had challenged his eighth-placed side to earn their first home win of the season and move up into the play-off places by the end of the afternoon.
But the visitors started the better, having a decent early penalty call turned down and Rigg pulling a low shot wide.
However, they did go ahead on six minutes as Francomb flicked on a ball down the middle to leave Elliott with only Jensen to beat, drilling a low shot under him.
On another Dons raid Elliott sent a low shot into the sidenetting.
Robinson was booked on 15 minutes for a foul on Clements
Francomb tested Jensen with a low shot on 22 minutes, but it was an easy save to make.
Tafazolli then should have scored for the home side from their first corner on 23 minutes, rising well at the far post to meet Chapman’s right wing corner but unable to steer his firm header on target.
The end to end action continued as Pearce jumped to get in a crucial header out for a corner at the far post with Akinfenwa lurking behind him unmarked.
Mansfield had a let-off when Tafazolli failed to get any distance on a headed clearance on 33 minutes, Elliott on hand to send a close range header just wide of the upright.
Reeves was booked for hacking down Clements and when the Dons struggled to clear the free kick, Pearce had a fierce volley blocked almost on the line.
On 39 minutes Westcarr sent Green away for the first time down the middle only for a defender’s toe to nick the ball off him before he could shoot as Mansfield ended the half on top.
Stags began the second half well and came so close on 52 minutes.
Green chased a through ball, beat the keeper to it and set up Lambe for a shot on target that Robinson had to head off the line.
Five minutes later Akinfenwa’s physical presence saw the ball run loose to Riff, whose low shot forced Jensen to get down and block.
Mansfield had a few hairy moments to survive as the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure, including some teasing crosses, and Jensen had to get down bravely as Akinfenwa slid in chasing a poor Tafazolli backpass on 67 minutes.
Dons sub Taylor was red-carded in stoppage time at the end for an elbow on Nicky Hunt.
And there was late hope as Mansfield won a free kick just outside the box with almost the last kick. But Clements just failed to repeat his heroics as this time his kick passed narrowly wide.
STAGS: Jensen; Hunt, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning; Chapman; Lambe (Nathan Thomas 66), Clements, Rose, Westcarr (Westcarr 76); Green. Subs not used: Marsden, Collins, Yussuf, J. Thomas, McGuire.
AFC WIMBLEDON: Shea, Fuller, Bulman, Robinson, Francomb, Reeves, Elliott (Taylor 66), Akinfewa (Azeez 76), Rigg, Meades, Osborne (Nightingale 30). Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, McDonnell, Gallagher, Kaja.
REFEREE: Ross Joyce of Cleveland.
ATTENDANCE: 3,042 (208)
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Clements.
Dons earn battling draw
Sat 05 Sep 2015, Author: Chris Slavin, afcwimbledon.co.uk
Elliott strike is cancelled out in first-half
The Dons today showed plenty of resilience and no shortage of quality to stay unbeaten away from home in League 2.
Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/dons-earn-battling-draw-2671289.aspx#7PsqvWbr73M7TwLU.99
Though Neal Ardley’s men failed to build on a classy opener from Tom Elliott, Wimbledon showed the steel that was perhaps lacking in previous seasons at Mansfield to secure a 1-1 draw.
It was a match that also saw the Dons end with 10 men as substitute Lyle Taylor was red carded in injury time. Elliott led the line superbly in what was his best display in a Dons shirt and Wimbledon produced some fine attacking moves with an approach that was in stark contrast to Mansfield’s direct style.
It was a far different starting 11 from the side that started in the JPT defeat to Plymouth with Neal Ardley making six changes. Wimbledon had a lot more experience through the spine of the team with Dannie Bulman and Paul Robinson restored in place of Tom Beere and Will Nightingale. George Francomb, Tom Elliott, Bayo Akinfenwa and Jon Meades were all restored with Andy Barcham, Ade Azeez, Lyle Taylor and Ben Harrison missing out. Barcham missed out due to a head injury and Tom Beere was deemed not fit enough after suffering a foot injury.
There was a new name on the substitutes’ bench for Wimbledon with 18-year-old Egli Kaja involved for the first time. Dan Gallagher had also recovered enough from his midweek injury to make the bench.
Taking on a Mansfield side without a home win so far this season, Wimbledon aimed to increase anxiety among the natives by taking the game to them. A good early sign for the Dons was a shooting chance for Rigg after a knock-on from Akinfenwa, but he volleyed wide of the target. However, the Wimbledon travelling support never had to wait long to celebrate a goal as the opener came in the sixth minute. A lovely defence-splitting pass from George Francomb put Elliott through and he beat Mansfield goalkeeper Brian Jensen with an excellent low finish.
In contrast to previous seasons at the One Call Stadium, Wimbledon had made a great start at the One Call Stadium. Full of confidence after his opening goal, Elliott was causing all sorts of problems with his pace and movement. First, he sent over a cross from the left that Akinfenwa was just unable to reach and then he shot into the side netting.
Despite all of Wimbledon’s early promise, Mansfield restored parity in the 15th minute. Paul Robinson conceded a free-kick 20 yards out and Chris Clements curled a lovely effort around the wall and into the bottom corner. A good response to that setback followed from Wimbledon and Francomb delivered a teasing cross from the right that just eluded Akinfenwa.
There was a setback for the Dons after half an hour with Karleigh Osborne having to go off injured and that meant Nightingale entered the fray. Though Wimbledon had to deal with the trademark direct approach from Mansfield and long balls a plenty, the best chances came at the other end. Rigg showed great trickery down the left and put a dangerous cross in that fell for Elliott, but he headed wide.
Though Mansfield ended the half strongly, there had been little cutting edge from the hosts and Matt Green struck an effort straight into the arms of Shea as the score remained level at half-time.
The second half started with Mansfield committing more men forward and Wimbledon needed a last-ditch clearance to stay level. After Green won a race for the ball with James Shea, Reggie Lambe could have made it 2-1, but his shot was cleared off the line by Paul Robinson.
Wimbledon had a great chance at the other end just minutes later that they should have done better with. More fine play from Elliott created a chance for Rigg, but his fierce strike was parried by Jensen and the Dons striker headed the rebound wide.
The Dons continued to have the better of it with Elliott producing an outstanding forward display and Nightingale offering stern resistance at the other end alongside Robinson. Neal Ardley decided to go for fresh legs though with 20 minutes left as Taylor entered the fray for Elliott, who had put in a tireless shift up front.
With Mansfield having appearing to have run out of steam at this stage, Wimbledon were sensed that all three points were there for the taking. Taylor had a decent opportunity from a free-kick, but he curled high and wide from just outside the area.
Wimbledon piled forward in numbers in an effort to secure all three points and Francomb let fly with a fierce 30-yard effort that caught Jensen by surprise, but it was just wide.
There was still time for Elliott to be dismissed after a clash with Nicky Hunt and Clements shot just wide from a free-kick in injury time.
However, defeat would have been harsh on the Dons and it was another encouraging display on the road.
AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Dannie Bulman, Paul Robinson, George Francomb, Jake Reeves, Tom Elliott (Lyle Taylor), Bayo Akinfenwa (Ade Azeez), Sean Rigg, Jon Meades, Karleigh Osborne (Will Nightingale).
Latest | September 2015