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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 AFC Wimbledon
Beevers 56, Bingham 87.
 Francomb pen 69
Attendance: 2151 (145 from AFC Wimbledon)
Date: 17 March 2015


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Bury with a vital 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon at the One Call Stadium tonight. The Stags won it with Rakish Bingham’s crisp strike from 12 yards after 87 minutes following a terrible defensive error by Wimbledon on the edge of the box. Earlier the Stags had taken the lead through a shot from Lee Beevers from 18 yards which took a fortunate deflection on 56 minutes. It’s about time the Stags had a bit of luck with a deflection, having conceded several in similar circumstances this season! Mansfield were well on top when they were rocked by an innocuous penalty for Wimbledon on 69 minutes as the ball bounced up and struck Tafazolli on the arm in a position of no danger. Francomb buried the resultant penalty. The goal coming out of nothing clearly rocked the Stags and Wimbledon had chances to take the lead through Azeez with Pidgeley making one fine save and Azeez missing one other great chance, before Bingham buried the winner. In the first half, the Stags were unlucky when Billy Kee fired a powerful shot against the underside of the bar, while Pidgeley made a good save from a Winfield header. With other teams towards the bottom mostly picking up wins, apart from York, this really was a critical victory. The Stags are up to 16th, leaping above Oxford, Cambridge and Accrington, and 8 points above Cheltenham, Tranmere and York, and 12 above Hartlepool, who the Stags visit on Saturday in another very important game.

Mansfield made two changes from the game against Bury three days earlier. McGuire and Kee came in for Ravenhill and Thomas who were rested. Kee really had to come in, in my opinion as he’s been the best player in recent matches. It meant a change to 4-4-2 with Kee and Oliver up front. Clements and McGuire were in central midfield, with McGuire slightly behind Clements, but further forward than just sitting in front of the back four. AFC Wimbledon included returning keeper Ross Worner who played a blinder against us as Kingsmeadow last season.

The Stags started on the front foot. On 5 minutes, a ball forward from McGuire, and Kee showed wonderful anticipation and movement to create lots of space for himself and from 12 yards he smashed a shot against the underside of the bar. The keeper was beaten all ends up. The bounced out back to him, but it bounced just a bit too high for him and he could only head the rebound over the bar. Kee did everything right, with great timing, but his shot was just a fraction too high. Very unlucky.

On 8 minutes, a good run forward from Clements from 45 yards out into the area, but good defending from Fuller to take the ball off him just inside the area.

On 17 minutes, Beevers crossed from the right to Kee on the far side, who tried to flick the ball forward for Oliver, but Oliver was offside.

Nothing had been seen of Wimbledon going forward, but on 19 minutes they were nearly in front. A shot from Sammy Moore deflected off Elder for a corner. From that corner, from the left, Winfield headed towards the top right corner and Pidgeley made a flying save, tipping the ball wide. Very good save. Two minutes later, Smith shot from the edge of the area, and it was an easy save for Pidgeley.

On 23 minutes, Elder crossed from the left, and Oliver could only head up in the air, giving Worner an easy catch. On 27 minutes Akinfenwa shot well wide from 25 yards. Straight to the other end and Clements shot over the bar from 30 yards.

A minute later, Akinfenwa showed good strength to hold off Beevers in the box but the Stags defender did enough to stop him getting in anything more than a soft shot that gave Pidgeley an easy save. On 30 minutes, a long range shot from Reeves was well over.

On 35 minutes, the Stags had a shout for a penalty. Lambe did well to win the ball back after giving it away, and eventually Clements shot goalwards hitting a defender, but I think it hit the defender in his midriff rather than his arm (confirmed on DVD).

The Stags could have had a penalty on 40 minutes too. Brown collected a corner on the right, and was clipped, but didn’t go down and stayed on his feet, winning a corner. If he’d gone down, the ref would surely have given a penalty. It was yet another reason why not to give the Stags a penalty. That is 8 penalty shouts in the last 4 games (some more clearcut than others of course), turned down, and incredibly we still haven’t had one since November 2013.

A minute later, Brown shot from 20 yards and it was blocked. At the other end, a minute after that, Francomb crossed and an Akinfenwa header rolled through to Pidgeley. Straight to the other end and a good move from the Stags, Oliver got to the byline and did well to slide a cross back in, but it was cleared.

The Stags went close on 43 minutes. Brown found Oliver. Oliver shot goalwards and from my position right behind it, it was definitely heading into the net, until hitting a Wimbledon defender.

An even first half, Kee unlucky to hit the underside of the bar, while Pidgeley had made one fine save.

Half time 0-0

On 48 minutes, poor marking from Mansfield as a ball in from the right reached Reeves in a great position but his low shot was saved low down by Pidgeley. It was a great chance.

On 53 minutes, Tanner shot from the left and it fizzed past the right post with Pidgeley at full stretch. It was further wide than I thought, from the video.

Field Mill erupted on 56 minutes as the Stags took the lead. A Clements free kick from 40 yards was headed out by Oshilaja only as far as Beevers coming in on the edge of the area who hit it powerfully first time and low and it took a useful deflection to send it past Worner into the right corner of the net. I can immediately recall several lucky deflected goals we have conceded this season including at home to Burton and Cheltenham, so it’s nice to get one ourselves.

The goal buoyed the Stags and we had a good spell looking a second goal to kill off the game. We have only opened up a two goal lead on two occasions this season (at home to Carlisle and away to Exeter) and it would have certainly made things more comfortable.

On 58 minutes, Oliver miscued an effort over the bar from 22 yards after Kee had done well to force a mistake. At the other end a minute later, very good defending from Beevers to hold off Rigg and prevent a shot, the ball just running through to Pidgeley.

On 60 minutes, Elder crossed to the far post, and Oliver could only head wide. Then 2 minutes later, Elder crossed again and Oshilaja got a lucky rebound to Worner.

Great technique from Kee on 65 minutes. With his back to goal, he still managed to get a shot in, but it was blocked. Then on 67 minutes, a good move from the Stags, Clements played a great ball, and Oliver shot wide from the right.

But out of the blue, with Mansfield well on top, they were rocked by an innocuous penalty for Wimbledon on 69 minutes as the ball bounced up and struck Tafazolli on the arm in a position of no danger. Francomb buried the resultant penalty, tucking it down the right with Pidgeley diving the other way. (To clarify why I think it was innocuous: because it came from a non-dangerous position, and in my opinion not a deliberate handball. I think Tafazolli misjudged it. I'm not saying the ref shouldn't have given it, and we'd have been very upset it we'd not been given it. I asked Tafazolli about it afterwards and he told me it bounced up more than he expected.)

On 73 minutes, with Beevers out of position, Azeez was clear on the left, and into a 1-on-1 with Pidgeley, but Pidgeley was out to save really well. A minute later, Tanner ran at goal, but instead of shooting himself, he elected to play to Azeez on his left who was offside. Azeez’s shot was well saved by Pidgeley even though the whistle had gone.

Mansfield made three substitutions between 74 and 76 minutes. Monakana replaced Brown. Then Rhead replaced Oliver. And finally Bingham replaced Kee. All were straight swaps.

On 80 minutes, Lambe shot from 20 yards, a good effort that pushed over by Worner. Moments later Clements crossed from the right and Rhead did well to hook his leg around a defender and get in a shot which was wide. Straight to the other end and a Wimbledon shot from Reeves was blocked by Tafazolli on the edge of the box.

Another great chance for Wimbledon to take the lead on 82 minutes as Azeez got into the area on the left and blazed over the bar.

McGuire put in a couple of great tackles as the Stags were on the back foot, still rocked by the equaliser from nothing.

But on 87 minutes, joy for sub Rakish Bingham and for Mansfield. Lambe did well to win the ball, and play it to Elder on the left. Elder made good progress to level with the edge of the area on the right. His square ball in wasn’t a good one but Winfield miscued it up in the air, and then Sammy Moore tried to nudge Bingham out of the way but only succeeded in presenting Bingham with a chance to shoot, which he did, firing past Worner from 12 yards into the right of the net. Worner got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out.

On 89 minutes, Monakana cut in from the right, and got in a left footed shot which Worner tipped wide. Moments later, Clements cut along the byline and pulled it back to Monakana who had a free shot but miskicked badly.

Five minutes of time were added on. It should surely have not been more than four. A heart-in-the-mouth moment on 90+1 as Alfie Potter went down right in front of Tafazolli. It would have been very harsh but thankfully the referee waved away appeals. From review of the DVD, it looked like a dive by Potter.

The Stags tried to hold onto the ball in the Wimbledon half though Rhead twice put the ball out for a Wimbledon throw whilst trying to win a throw himself. However the Stags held on for a crucial victory.

Mansfield’s second double of the season, after Newport. On to Hartlepool on Saturday and another big game.

Man of the match: Lee Beevers

On a personal note, I cherished the victory having been hit by a car on my bicycle at a major roundabout in Guildford the day before and despite hitting my head on the tarmac and having four police cars and an ambulance on the scene within minutes, I escaped with bruising and much stiffness. It was a traumatic experience and the result against Wimbledon was a huge enjoyment for me personally.

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Pidgeley 7 Two very good saves, diving to tip away Winfield’s header in the first half and then blocking Azeez’s shot in a 1-on-1 late on.
Beevers 7.5 Good game. Defended well against the dangerous Rigg. Deserved his goal albeit with a lucky deflection. Out of position for Azeez’s 1-on-1, and struggled more against Azeez than against Rigg. Involved in some good moves.
Riley 6.5 Generally solid.
Tafazolli 6.5 Misjudgement for the penalty which came out of nothing and he told me afterwards the ball bounced more than he expected. Mostly had a solid game.
Elder 7.5 Did well. Got forward well. Put the ball into the box from which terrible defending led to the winner.
Brown 6 Fairly quiet. If he’d gone down in the first half he would have won a penalty.
McGuire 7.5 Some great tackles and won lots of headers. Good game, even better watching the game back again on the DVD. Did very well to quieten Akinfenwa.
Clements 6 Did ok. One good run, some good balls and crosses.
Lambe 6.5 Won the ball well a few times and worked exceptionally hard. Went close with one shot tipped over.
Oliver 6 Had several efforts, mostly not good ones, but did go very close with shot on target that hit a defender.
Kee 7 Wonderful anticipation and movement on 5 minutes to create a chance that he thundered against the underside of the bar. Good technique for another shot too. Good hold-up play. I liked seeing him run on at the final whistle and jump on Rakish Bingham, who had replaced him, to celebrate his substitute’s moment of glory.
Sub Line Up:
Monakana (for Brown, 74) - A couple of good runs, and a shot on target pushed away by the keeper.
Rhead (for Oliver, 75) - Wasn’t as good at running down the clock as he would have hoped, twice putting the ball out for a Wimbledon throw whilst trying to win a throw.
Bingham (for Kee, 76) - Great moment for him when he knocked the winner, with a real striker’s instinct.
Subs not used: Studer, Sutton, Heslop, Ravenhill.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-3-3) Worner; Fuller, Winfield, Oshilaja, Smith; Kennedy (Francombe 32), Moore, Reeves; Rigg (Azeez 67), Tanner (Potter 74), Akinfenwa. Subs not used: McDonnell, Phillips, Fitzpatrick, Gallagher.
Scott Duncan 7 Generally a good game. Rightly turned away Wimbledon’s injury time penalty appeal when Potter dived.

Season 14/15 Reports