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10th March 2023 19:38

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon 1 - 3 Mansfield Town
Al-Hamadi 25. Harbottle 30, D.Johnson 66, Keillor-Dunn 77
Attendance: 7,939 (905 from Mansfield)

Date: 4 March 2023

Martin Shaw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium (Plough Lane)

Mansfield Town won 3-1 at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon, coming from 1-0 down to equalise in the first half, and then produce a very strong second half performance to seal the victory. It was a crucial win for the Stags, bouncing back from the 5-2 defeat at home to Salford last Saturday, and coming despite 9 players missing the game through injury, which became 10 when Callum Johnson had to go off at half time.

The Stags are in 8th place, 5 points behind 3rd place Stevenage, 6 points behind 2nd placed Carlisle with a game in hand.

It was Mansfield’s first visit to the new Plough Lane ground (a few hundred yards from the old Plough Lane ground that Mansfield of course did visit previously). And the Stags were roared on by 905 visiting fans (*) who especially enjoyed seeing the two second half goals, right in front of them.

(* not a typo by the way, it’s exactly the same number of away fans (905) as the last away game, at Tranmere two weeks ago).

Wimbledon had the better of the opening 20 minutes, with great blocks from Kilgour and Perch keeping them at bay. The Stags then went close after 23 minutes when Harbottle’s close range shot from a Quinn cross was blocked on the line.

Wimbledon took the lead after 25 minutes. A long ball over the top from Alex Pearce sent Ali Al-Hamadi away. He out-paced Perch inside the area on the right to create a yard a space for a shot, and from a tight angle he blasted the ball under Flinders and into the net. Flinders, back in the side for Pym who was ill with a stomach problem, should have done better.

But Mansfield were level on the half hour. Quinn’s free kick from the left 30 yards from goal, was cleared as far as Perch. Perch slid a lovely ball in behind the defence for Quinn to run on to towards the byline, level with the edge of the six box. Quinn fired a low ball across the edge of the six yard box, and Harbottle, despite four defenders close to him, got to it first to steer the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Harbottle’s 5th goal of the season, a good return from central defence. Quinn’s 6th assist of the season. Only Lapslie, now departed, has more this season.

Wimbledon had been the better side in the opening 20 minutes, but Mansfield were the better side for the last 20 minutes of the half and were nearly gifted a goal after 40 minutes. Dons keeper Nick Tzanev, dallied over a clearance halfway inside his own half. Keillor-Dunn closed him down. The ball cannoned of Keillor-Dunn up in the air. As it bounce up the keeper tried to head it away, missed it, and for a split second Keillor-Dunn had a free sight at goal from 30 yards out. But the ball didn’t come for him to enable him to take a shot and Paul Kalambayi nipped in to nick it away. The ball came to Quinn, but from the corner of the penalty area on the left, and with the keeper still out of his goal, Quinn couldn’t turn the ball into the net and fired wide.

1-1 at the break, a fair scoreline.

Into the second half. Danny Johnson replaced Callum Johnson at the start of the half. Callum Johnson “felt his calf, either a kick or a strain and couldn’t go on,” according to Nigel Clough after the game. Danny Johnson went up front, and Akins switched to right wing-back. Then Boateng replaced Wallace after 61 minutes.

And after 66 minutes, the two substitutes combined to put Mansfield in front. The referee played advantage on the halfway line as Quinn was brought down, and Boateng slid a fabulous ball forward from inside the centre circle for Danny Johnson to run on to, getting in between two defenders, and from the edge of the area he rolled a right footed shot wide of the keeper into the bottom left corner of the net. I’m not sure if the shot took a slight deflection off defender Alex Pearce who tried to block the shot. It was hard to tell. The ball rolled into the net in slow motion in front of the celebrating Stags fans. Danny Johnson celebrated by tying his shoe laces, great humour from Johnson really as he was criticised by some fans for doing that after the Stags scored at Bradford a few weeks ago, before he explained what happened in https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/returning-mansfield-town-striker-danny-johnson-aiming-to-prove-a-point-and-dismisses-claims-he-is-unhappy-4017738"> an interview a couple of days later . Johnson’s first goal this season for Mansfield, since returning from loan at Walsall.

And the Stags made it 3-1 after 77 minutes. A long kick forward from Flinders was headed up in the air by a combination of Aaron Pierre and Keillor-Dunn. As the ball came down, Jack Currie tried to volley it away, but sliced his clearance backwards. Keillor-Dunn was first to react, running on to it, taking a brilliant first touch 24 yards from goal, to cut inside George Marsh, and firing into the bottom left corner of the net from 16 yards. A superb piece of finishing from Keillor-Dunn. His third goal in successive games.

AFC Wimbledon never looked like getting back into the game, and it was the Stags who could have added to the lead, with Akins cutting inside and firing just over the bar from 24 yards after great play from Bowery after 85 minutes, and Danny Johnson having a chance to lift the ball over the keeper who was off his line in the final minute of stoppage time, but firing wide.

Wimbledon created little in the second half, but the Stags put in some more great blocks, and defended superbly.

A great win for Mansfield, deserved from a very strong second half performance, after an even first half. Plenty of fine performances throughout the side. All the defenders put in good blocks. Bowery was very good indeed at left wing-back. Akins, who got no joy up front in the first half, had to slot in at right wing-back in the second half and was tremendous. Quinn was excellent on the left, with plenty of good crosses. Clarke got better and better as the game wore on after getting booked after just 5 minutes for a foul. Keillor-Dunn was very good yet again, what a signing he is proving to be, with 3 goals and 3 assists already. Flinders recovered well from his mistake for the goal, with some good handling, including a good punch from a cross in the second half. And the substitutes all made a really positive impression. Danny Johnson scored the crucial second goal, Boateng got the assist for it with a wonderful pass, and played superbly for 30 minutes, and Jason Law and James Gale both did very well late on.

Mansfield had four players booked: Clarke, Wallace, Harbottle and Quinn. Clarke is on 8 for the season, Quinn 7, Harbottle 6. If Clarke is booked twice in the next 4 games, he will get a 2 game ban. If Quinn is booked 3 times in the next 4 games, he will get a 2 game ban. If Harbottle is booked 4 times in the next 4 games, he will get a 2 game ban. Details below.



AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Mansfield Town
Al-Hamadi (25'minutes)
Harbottle (30'minutes), Johnson (66'minutes), Keillor-Dunn (77'minutes)
Pearce (25'minutes)
Quinn (30'minutes), Boateng (66'minutes)

Report supplied by PA Media.

Danny Johnson's first goal since his recall from Walsall gave Mansfield a 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon to keep them in the hunt for the League Two play-offs.

In-form striker Ali Al Hamadi struck first for Wimbledon in the 25th minute but Riley Harbottle quickly responded for the visitors.

Johnson's bobbled finish just after the hour mark then put Town in front and Davis Keillor-Dunn ensured the victory which draws them level on points with Stockport in seventh.

Wimbledon drew first blood midway through the first half when Al Hamadi broke sharply from Alex Pearce's long ball, drove into the box and fired under Scott Flinders for his fifth goal in four games.

But Mansfield hit back five minutes later, Harbottle poking home Stephen Quinn's low cross from a short free-kick.

In the 65th minute, Al Hamadi passed up a great chance to shoot and Mansfield quickly countered with substitute Johnson, who returned to Town from his prolific spell with Walsall in the middle of January, scuffing his effort past Nik Tzanev and into the bottom corner.

The result was sealed 14 minutes from time when Keillor-Dunn cut inside and powered his third goal of the season beyond Tzanev.

Match Stats
Home Team Wimbledon Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 51% Away 49%
Shots Home 12 Away 11
Shots on Target Home 2 Away 4
Corners Home 2 Away 4
Fouls Home 13 Away 11


Mansfield Town bounce back with superb win at AFC Wimbledon
chad.co.uk, Sat 4 March 2023

Mansfield Town bounced back from their Salford mauling with a superb and well-deserved 3-1 comeback win at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Stags’ fourth win in five games keeps the play-off hopes firmly alive and completed a double over the Londoners.

And there was a first goal back for the Stags for Danny Johnson - a half-time substitute - after that successful loan spell at Walsall.

There was an early scare for the Stags at the Cherry Red Records stadium.

Ethan Chislett found space in the box, only for Alfie Kilgour to fly in and produce a superb last-ditch block.

Chislett fired inches wide minutes later as the Dons opened strongly.


The Stags were struggling to gain some momentum, and the hosts threatened again when Josh Davison’s angled strike flashed just past the post.

But the visitors finally gained a foothold, and in the 20th minute Kilgour’s effort, following some neat work from Ollie Clarke, looped inches over the crossbar.

Stags’ Riley Harbottle saw an effort cleared off the line on 23 minutes, before two goals inside five minutes then truly brought the game to life.

The Dons struck first when Ali al-Hamadi smartly slotted home Alex Pearce’s ball, racing past James Perch as the Dons broke quickly on 25 minutes

However, it was 1-1 five minutes later when Harbottle similarly converted a low cross from Stephen Quinn, poking out a foot five yards from goal.

Just before the break Quinn almost made it 2-1 to the Stags when he side-footed over an empty net from an angle after David Keillor-Dunn had challenged the out-of-position keeper.

With was a rather scrappy start to the second period, with niggly fouls and yellow cards breaking up the flow of the game.

Both sides were struggling to put together much fluency, until the Stags bagged their second goal in the 66th minute.

Sub Johnson provided the finish, latching on to fellow sub Hiram Boateng’s cutting through-ball down the centre before slotting comfortably past keeper Nik Tzanev.

A smiling Johnson celebrated in front of the 905 Stags fans by tying his laces - a comedic reference to criticism of his lack of celebration in his first game back.

The Stags were clearly buoyed by their goal, but now it was about defending resolutely in the final 20 minutes.

Tzanev was called upon to keep out a decent header from Kilgour as the visitors went in search of a potentially killer third goal.

And they got that in the 77th minute, thanks to Davis Keillor-Dunn’s arrowing low finish after a poor defensive clearance spun into his path.

Lucas Akins and Johnson both went close to a fourth as Stags saw out the rest of the game in relative comfort.

The win left them in eighth place - one outside the play-off spots but only on goal difference and only five points off third.

DONS: Tzanev, Gunter (Marsh, 74), Pearce (Pierre, 74), Kalambayi, Currie, McAteer (Janneh, 65), Woodyard, Little, Chislett, Al-Hamadi, Davison (Pearson, 74). SUBS NOT USED: Nightingale, Broome.

STAGS: Flinders, Harbottle, Kilgour, Perch, C Johnson (D Johnson, 46), O Clarke, Wallace (Boateng, 61), Quinn (Law, 70), Bowery, Keillor-Dunn (Gale, 87), Akins. SUBS NOT USED: Abdullah, Anderson, Collin.

REFEREE: Ollie Yates

ATTENDANCE: 7,939 (905 away).


Clinical Stags punish Dons
afcwimbledon.co.uk, By Chris Thorpe

AFC Wimbledon let a lead slip once again on Saturday afternoon as a ruthless Mansfield Town side came away with a 3-1 win.

In what felt like a carbon copy of the start we saw on Tuesday, Ali Al-Hamadi gave us the lead with his fifth goal in yellow and blue.

However our Achilles heel came back to bite us as Riley Harbottle quickly equalised after we switched off from a set piece.


From that point onwards it went from bad to worse for the Dons, with Danny Johnson and Davis Keillor-Dunn striking a double blow on the counterattack for the play-off chasing Stags.

Johnnie Jackson made two changes to the side which lost 3-2 to Stevenage as Jack Currie and Alex Pearce came in for Lee Brown and Will Nightingale - this meant the latter dropped to the bench.

Wimbledon started well with Currie and Ethan Chislett interchanging on the left before the latter saw a shot blocked. Our South African attacker then came even closer as his volley whistled wide of the upright.

As the half hour mark approached we were rewarded for our bright start with the opening goal. Al-Hamadi picked up the ball on the far side before tearing into the box - our number 12 steadied himself before powerfully firing past Scott Flinders for his fifth goal in four games.

However Mansfield equalised soon after through Harbottle’s close range finish - with our side guilty of losing runners in the penalty area. The Dons almost hit back immediately as Armani Little’s free-kick cleared the bar by inches.

The second-half started slower than the first, with much of the flow of the game being disrupted by several stoppages. Al-Hamadi was still posing a threat and almost came up with an assist as Kasey McAteer saw his shot blocked from close range.

The Stags always offered a threat on the counterattack and as a result it was them who took the lead for the first time on the day. A through ball was threaded through the Wimbledon backline, leaving Johnson with the simple task of poking past the onrushing Nik Tzanev.

A flurry of substitutes followed for the Dons, however it mattered little as Keillor-Dunn charged through to put the visitors 3-1 ahead - a deficit that we couldn’t recover from.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Chris Gunter (George Marsh), Alex Woodyard, Josh Davison (Sam Pearson), Ethan Chislett, Ali Al-Hamadi, Alex Pearce (Aaron Pierre), Armani Little, Kasey McAteer (Saikou Janneh), Jack Currie, Paul Kalambayi


AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Mansfield Town: Dons surrender third successive lead as Stags march on
sportsgazette.co.uk, by Seth Nobes

Mansfield Town continued their charge towards the Sky Bet League Two play-offs as they came from behind at Plough Lane to condemn AFC Wimbledon to a third successive defeat.

The Dons started brightly and took the lead 25 minutes in through Ali Al Hamadi’s fifth goal in four games.

The Stags responded just five minutes later through Riley Harbottle, before second-half strikes from Danny Johnson and Davis Keillor-Dunn saw the away side pick up a fourth win in five. Wimbledon remain in 15th, with Mansfield in 8th, out of the play-offs only on goal difference with a game in hand.

Wimbledon were quick out of the blocks, hoping to exploit the same frailties in the Mansfield defence that saw them ship five at home to fellow play-off hopefuls Salford last time out.

The Dons’ attacking intent almost resulted in the perfect start, with Ethan Chislett deceiving several of the Stags’ defenders on a run towards the area. His quick one-two with Josh Davison saw him through on goal, but his effort was tame, and easily saved by the on-rushing Scott Flinders.


Wimbledon continued to apply the pressure, with Mansfield resorting to tactically fouling the opposition to prevent long periods of momentum. This approach saw Stags captain Ollie Clarke go into the book first for a late challenge, but not before Kasey McAteer’s long-range effort dribbled through to Flinders after good work from during the advantage.

As the first half wore on, the Dons continued their confident style of play. Al Hamadi displayed some neat footwork to find Davison in the box, but good work from the Mansfield defender sees the striker pushed wide, with his shot only able to flash across the face of the goal.

Mansfield were not content playing on the back foot, and started to force their way into the game through battling tackles, much to the delight of their travelling faithful. Stephen Quinn, making his 629th professional appearance, rolled back the years with some silky skill before putting in a cross that saw a Riley Harbottle blocked at the far post.

However, just as Mansfield looked to gain the intiative, the Dons took the lead. Al Hamadi’s goal was well-worked, with the striker latching onto a long ball forward from Alex Pearce, before driving into the box and leaving Flinders no chance with a powerful finish.

This lead did not last long, with Mansfield showing the resilience that sees them fighting for the play-offs after losing in the final last season. Harbottle made no mistake from within the box with almost an identical chance to his earlier opportunity, with Quinn once again providing the cross.

Mansfield were now in control, with Wimbledon now trying to hold on after such a positive start. Nik Tzanev almost gifted the Stags a half-time lead after his clearance was blocked, but Quinn was unable to land his attempt on target.

Al Hamadi continued to look dangerous following the half-time break, with another run down the left seeing him earn his way into the box, even sitting a few of the Stags’ defenders down for good measure. However, his reluctance to pull the trigger saw him forced to lay the ball off to McAteer, whose effort was blocked.

This would prove McAteer’s last involvement as he made way for Saikou Janneh. This change would prove pivotal in the match, but not for the home side. A lapse in concentration following the sub from several Wimbledon players saw half-time substitute Johnson bully his way past Alex Pearce, and roll the ball agonisingly slowly past Tzanev into the net.

On a run of one win in ten, and staring down the barrel of another defeat, Wimbledon committed men forward, even making a triple change in the hope of earning a crucial point to aid their waning play-off hopes.

This played right into Mansfield’s hands, as they were able to hold the Dons attack, and pick off the home side on the counter. Sure enough, a Wimbledon attack come to nothing, and Mansfield broke forward. Keillor-Dunn picked the ball up on the edge of the area, with his third goal in as many games all but sealing the three points.

Wimbledon were unable to find a way back into the team, and slumped to a third defeat in a row despite taking the lead. One win in eleven matches now sees their feint play-off hopes come to an abrupt end, as Mansfield move closer to an opportunity to put right last season’s play-off heartbreak.


What we learned from AFC Wimbledon’s 3-1 defeat at home to Mansfield Town - Fitness levels a worry as Dons suffer three defeats on the bounce
londonnewsonline.co.uk/, BY LAURENCE LOWNE

Another fine goal from Ali Al Hamadi was followed by a capitulation.

Wimbledon - a team down to their bare bones - simply could not cope with the pace and off-the-ball running by Mansfield Town, who are chasing down a play-off place for potential promotion to League One.


With Alex Pearce and Jack Currie both restored to the back line after injury, it was telling that post-match, Johnnie Jackson referenced that, generally, Wimbledon players could not compete for more than 70 minutes.

After Hamadi scored his goal in the 25th minute to put the Dons in front, it took five minutes for an equaliser to arrive as an uncontested cross from Chris Gunters’ side of the defence gently rolled along the six-yard box and was swept home by Riley Harbottle.

Five blue shirts were caught flat-footed and were unable to throw their bodies in the way to defend the lead.

Soon afterwards, Mansfield piled players into the box. Their physical approach not only unsettled the defence further but also saw a challenge on Nik Tzanev, which went unpunished at a corner. To be fair to the referee, Ollie Yates, who had a fair game, he did brandish three yellow cards in the direction of the visitors and one more in the second half, but they simply ignored them and continued fouling with impunity.

For longer-standing supporters in the bumper Plough Lane crowd, Mansfield reminded many of the Wimbledon of yore, who dictated how games would be played.

Mansfield’s second and third goals reinforced that.

Some pace, no little skill, but sheer belief enabled the visitors to complete their scoring through Danny Johnson, who outpaced a rapidly tiring Pearce in defence and rolled his shot beyond Tzanev.

The third saw a long ball by keeper Scott Flinders, which defenders failed to clear, and Davis Keillor-Dunn found the corner of the net with zero challenge.

This week, there is much to do as Jackson continues to find a solution in defence, midfield and attack.

The programme carried stories of supporters who started supporting the team many years ago, and most had seen a defeat in the first game attended, but they came back again and again. Hopefully, many first-time visitors in the 7939 crowd will do so later this month and beyond?

What we learned:

Another bench lacking a full number of players reinforced that AFC Wimbledon are down to the bare bones. Harry Pell was once again absent, and his height was sorely missed together with his tenacity.
Accuracy over numbers wins out for Mansfield - four shots on target, and they scored three goals. Wimbledon are currently struggling to fashion clear chances for Josh Davison, and a game with a sparse number of crosses is never going to help him thrive. At least Ali Al Hamadi can use his pace to create chances for himself.

Johnnie Jackson’s admission post-match over fitness levels is a worry since there is no quick solution at this stage of the season. Players are being asked to play more minutes than usual and thus miss out on rest and recuperation time.
Three defeats on the spin is going to harm confidence levels, so bring back the boring 0-0 draws your writer suggests is the order of the day starting at Doncaster on Saturday.