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10th March 2023 19:39

Boss: Everybody is contributing
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 4 March 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough highlighted the impact made by Stags’ substitutes - describing them as ‘the difference’ - in this afternoon’s 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.

Danny Johnson was found by Hiram Boateng in the second 45 before slotting home for Mansfield’s second, with both players beginning the match on the substitutes' bench.

Jason Law and James Gale also added fine displays to ensure Stags returned to winning ways in The Capital.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, Nigel said: “Everybody is contributing.

“The substitutes today were absolutely huge for us, the four that came on.


“They made the difference for us in the game."

On his side’s performance, the boss added: "I didn't think we were brilliant at times today.

“In the first 10, 15 minutes we looked a yard off it, but we grew into the game.

“Ironically, I think we were having our best spell when they scored.

On the Wimbledon goal: "A little bit disappointing from our point of view. We had the ball in comfortable possession. Kieran's tried to force it through to a striker's feet. They've broken and the lad's finished it. We shouldn't be giving it away there.

“We had a very good response and a very good second-half.”

Riley Harbottle levelled the contest on 30 minutes.

“Most people are static in the box,” said the gaffer.

“He’s [Harbottle] almost like a striker [in the area].

“He does it in training quite often.

“When he’s alive, he gets a little toe [on the ball] - a very very important goal.”

Danny Johnson came on at half-time, before bagging his first for the club since 2021.

“Callum Johnson felt his calf. Either a kick or a strain and couldn’t go on,” Nigel said.

“Lucas [Akins] again showed his versatility, he went to right wing-back and we got Danny on up front who got us the all-important second goal.

“It was the turning point because right up until that goal there was nothing in the game.

"It can [always] go either way.”

Hiram Boateng’s cameo, in particular, pleased the manager.

“I thought he was brilliant when he came on today,” he said.

“He’s not suited to sitting in a holding position. He’s better going forward.

“He had to come on and do it for half an hour today and I thought he gave us an element of control in the game.

“His through ball for Danny was superb.”

Stags’ third of the match came courtesy of the impressive Davis Keillor-Dunn.

“His first touch was brilliant when he just cut across the lad and then he just stroked it in with his left foot.

“I think that really knocked the stuffing out of them [Wimbledon].

“We still had a few scares in the last few minutes but we saw it through.”

"I'm not sure if it was a deserved win.

"We got better as the game went on. Ollie Clarke got better, his best spell was in the last 20 minutes. He wasn't very good, a rash booking, early on. Alfie Kilgour was very good.

"The substitutes were huge for us today, the 4 that came on, and made the difference in the game."

Nigel went on to provide the latest on the injury front.

“He’s [Christy Pym] ill. He trained on Wednesday but he’s had some sort of stomach problem.

“He’s being treated and we’ll see how he is next week.

“[Elliott Hewitt’s injury is] a kick on the calf, as well as a sore knee. No chance for today.

“To have nine contact injuries [as a squad] is quite incredible.

“It’s too early to tell at the moment [who, if any, are close to a return].

“George Maris’ Achilles is still sore.

“Oatesy’s coming on alright. It will just be how much he can handle his shoulder.

“We’ll see how we are later in the week.”


Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I don't think it was a superb performance.
"They had their chances, we got blocks in at the right time, and got away with a few today, which we didn't last week.
"James Gale - he's only trained 2 or 3 days, since coming back. He's been out a couple of months or so.
"The subs come on and they make the difference in games, especially when you're down to the bones."


Win at Wimbledon even more special says boss Nigel Clough as injury list reaches double figures
chad.co.uk, Sat 4 March 2023

As Mansfield Town's injury crisis deepened, boss Nigel Clough took special pride in seeing his side come from behind to stay on the promotion hunt with a 3-1 victory at AFC Wimbledon today.

With keeper Christy Pym and defender Elliott Hewitt ruled out pre-game, Stags' injury list reached double figures by half-time with Callum Johnson forced to limp off.

But the visitors dig deep and, after Riley Harbottle had quickly levelled, interval sub Danny Johnson put them 2-1 up to set them on the road to a valuable win at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

“When you have 10 out and go and win away from home it does feel a bit more special,” said Clough.


“It was important then that we got back on level terms before half-time.

“Christy is ill. He has had stomach pains and so on. He is on medication and we will see if it settles down.

“Elliott has a knee problem and also took a kick on his calf as well. So there was no chance of him being fit today. He's not trained all week. He was going to give it a go today but with the five games coming up, if it turns into something worse he could miss all five games.

“Then in the first half Callum Johnson felt his calf. I'm not sure if it was a kick or a slight strain, but he couldn't continue.

“So he is our 10th injury. Lucas Akins' versatility again came into play and he went to right wing back. And we got Danny up front - and he got the goal.

“I am not sure how it went in, I need to see it back. It seemed a funny finish where it almost seemed to hit both feet and seemed to take an age to trickle over the line as well.

He added: “I thought that was the turning point - it changed the game.”

“It was hard work and workmanlike at times and that game could have gone either way today. I thought they had their chances.

“But we got blocks in at the right time and got away with a few today, which we didn't against Salford. They were clinical last week, but today we got away with a few.

“I thought we were having our best spell when they scored. We had settled into the game and then they got their goal when we gave the ball away in the centre of midfield.”

David Keillor-Dunn smashed in a third to settle nerves and Clough said: “He challenged for the header, half won it and then the ball dropped, he came inside and the left foot finish was absolutely brilliant. That's three in three now and he is settling in lovely.

“We have 13 games to go and they are all big now. It won't be about performances - just trying to get the three points.”


Forward salutes Stags’ supporters
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 4 March 2023

Forward Davis Keillor-Dunn says Mansfield’s ‘amazing’ away support acted as their ‘twelfth man’ in the team’s 3-1 away victory over AFC Wimbledon.

The 25-year-old superbly converted Stags’ third on 77 minutes, adding to Riley Harbottle (30’) and Danny Johnson’s (66’) clinical earlier notches to wrap up the contest.

The January signing has been in prolific form since joining from Burton Albion on deadline day, registering three goals and two assists in amber and blue.

The Nottinghamshire side were backed by 905 traveling Stags inside Cherry Red Records Stadium in South West London, something the 25-year-old felt made a difference on the pitch.

“[The supporters were] absolutely amazing,” he said. “To come down to London [with] the expense, the cost, it’s not cheap [and] they just sang all game. They were louder than the home fans again today. It really is a twelfth man for us and hopefully they keep doing that all season for us.”


“[The result was] massive.

“We knew we weren’t good enough last week [against Salford] and we had to put it right [today]. It was just about getting straight into the next game, which we did.

“It feels really good. [I’m] just looking forward to the next game now, keep them coming.”

Keillor-Dunn was encouraged by Mansfield’s patience and composure in the final third to capitalise on goalscoring opportunities when they arose.

“We were a little bit slow getting out the blocks [in] the first 15 minutes,” he told iFollow Stags after the match.

“Riley [Harbottle] got us back in the game and gave us a good chance. We went in 1-1 at half time and we knew we had to come out all guns blazing second half and put on a performance.

“We had a few chances in the first half and we were thinking ‘surely one is going to drop [for us]’. We know we’ve got goals in the team so we weren’t nervous [in front of goal]. [We knew if we] just kept playing the way we were, the chances would come.

“[I’m] buzzing for Dan [Danny Johnson] to get on and get his goal. He’s been patient and he’s working hard, [I’m] delighted for him. [For] myself as well, it’s nice to get on the scoresheet and put some distance between us and the other team in the game.”

Stags’ number 40 delivered the game’s killer blow on 77 minutes when he cut inside from the right, skilfully shifted the ball onto his left foot to round the defender, before driving it low into the bottom corner.

Keillor-Dunn said: “I just saw the full-back charging over so I thought if I get it onto my left it might wrong foot him, and luckily it did. I gained a few yards and slotted it in with my left.

“I actually thought it wasn’t one of my best games. It was just nice to get on the scoresheet and get the win. The wins are more important, the goals are second for me. I want to [help] get this club out of the league, it’s as simple as that.

“I just want us to win games. I’d take [scoring] no goals and we go up. Hopefully we can win games and I score goals so everybody’s happy.”


Three goals in three games for Davis Keillor-Dunn and he can’t wait for run of promotion showdowns ahead
chad.co.uk, Sat 4 March 2023

Davis Keillor-Dunn's third goal in as many games for Mansfield Town has helped set them up for three huge promotion showdowns - and Stags' impressive January signing can't wait.

Keillor-Dunn rifled in the decisive third goal in today's 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.

Depleted Stags, who now have 10 players in the treatment room, now face games with Leyton Orient, Northampton Town and Stockport County and he said: “We are looking forward to them - they are big, big games and they are what determine your season, so you have to go into them confident. Off the backs of wins is even better.

“Wimbledon are a very good side and we knew what they were posing today. So we had to go out there and put on a performance.

“We know we are running quite low on bodies and we knew how big this game was today.

“After last week we wanted to bounce back and we have done it in perfect style today.”


“It was massive to equalise so quickly. I think we were quite slow getting out of the blocks. But we came good in the end.”

Half-time sub Danny Johnson came on to partner Keillor-Dunn up top and both players found the net.

“Second half we had two 'gingers' up top and it wasn't too bad,” smiled Keillor-Dunn.

“I was delighted for Dan to get his goal as well - it was a good little finish.

“And for myself to get one as well was nice. I try to make myself a nuisance up top and get the scraps and luckily it just fell to me.

“I thought about a volley, but I saw the full back racing over so I thought if I move it onto my left it will wrong-foot him. Luckily he came steaming over and it gave me a chance to get it onto my left.

“But the goals are second to me. I just want to win games. I have come here to win games and get the club out of this league.”

Over 900 away fans cheered Stags on to victory and he added: “The fans were tremendous. It's a massive journey down here to the capital and it's not cheap.

“We are thankful for them keep turning out in their numbers and we just have to keep on putting in performances for them.


Johnnie: Players are playing for their futures
afcwimbledon.co.uk, By Chris Thorpe

Johnnie Jackson admitted that the final quarter of the campaign will play a part in deciding the make-up of our squad for next season after AFC Wimbledon lost 3-1 to Mansfield Town.

After starting the game so brightly we were made to pay in the second-half, with Danny Johnson and Davis Keillor-Dunn adding to Riley Harbottle’s equaliser to inflict a third successive defeat for the Dons.

Defensive mishaps ultimately overshadowed Ali Al-Hamadi’s well worked opener. Off the back of our latest loss, Johnnie stated that things have to change if we are to move in the right direction.

“I don’t want the season to peter out,” he said. “We want to finish strong and finish as high as we possibly can. In the meantime we’ll be looking at where we want to go with things next season and who wants to be a part of it.

“I’ve got big ambitions and the football club has big ambitions - we’re not going to suffer another season of mediocrity. We need to see who has the mindset and the same mentality as what I’ve got and this club has got to take us where we need to go to. I’m getting annoyed at saying we’re not getting what we deserve out of games.


“Mansfield were more ruthless in the moments they created. In the first hour we were the team in the ascendancy but we didn’t have a lead to show for it. On the balance of play we should’ve been a couple of goals up heading into the break. We left the door open at the other end and they were clinical.”

In attempt to change things, our manager made a raft of substitutions as Aaron Pierre, George Marsh, Saikou Janneh and Sam Pearson were introduced - however chances were few and far between in the closing stages.

There were some good openings but the gaffer feels some questions have to be asked of ourselves if we are to pick up some positive outcomes in the coming games.

“We’re experiencing bad fortune at the moment. We’re creating great openings but teams are shutting us out. We need to look at ourselves and find a way of being more clinical. The irony is that we now have goals in us after not scoring too many, whilst we’re letting a lot in after keeping a lot of clean sheets. It’s not right.”


John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Brilliant win... hard-fought, and clinical in front of goal.
Fans travelled in great numbers too to support our players.