STAGS HAMMERED 5-2 BY WIMBLEDON
5 Oct 2010
Mansfield Town 2 - 5 AFC Wimbledon
Connor 34, Briscoe 83. Moore 10 secs, 74, Jolley 9, Kedwell 43, Jackson 60.
Att: 2699 (209 from AFC Wimbledon)
Stats of the evening:
- Worst defeat home or away since 0-4 defeat at home to Rochdale in March 2008, in relegation season.
- First time we've let in five home or away since May 2006, when Cheltenham beat us 5-0 at Field Mill.
- The goal scored by Wimbledon on 10 seconds is the quickest ever conceded by the Stags (we believe).
- During last season and this season, we have only beaten a top 7 side twice: Oxford at home 2-1 and Rushden at home 3-2.
- Biggest home crowd of the season.
- The 209 fans brought by Wimbledon was lower than the Stags have taken to any game this season and yet Wimbledon are supposed to have a big away following.
Martin & Svante
Match report: Mansfield Town 2 AFC Wimbledon 5
Evening Post report
IT took just 90 minutes of action to devastate those loyal Mansfield Town fans whose arrival at Field Mill had been buoyed by John Radford's vision of the future.
The club's new owner and chairman dedicated six pages of the match programme to outline his hopes and expectations for the Stags, one he is desperate will take on a brighter outlook.
He talked of his desire to buy Field Mill from previous owner Keith Haslam, how he wishes to get attendances back above the 3,000 mark and how the club will now be able to compete financially with the likes of Crawley and Luton.
It was stirring stuff that had all Mansfield supporters grinning from ear to ear.
But all that optimism was rapidly forgotten as AFC Wimbledon drubbed the Stags and gave their followers an altogether more familiar feeling.
And, in doing so, the impressive Wombles showed there is still a heck of a long way to go before Radford's dream becomes a reality.
Promotion back to the Football League at the end of the season is very much the aim for Mansfield this season, especially now with their new benefactor behind them.
Yet if last night's opponents are the benchmark, the Stags are still some way short, despite their decent start to the campaign.
David Holdsworth has insisted he does not want to make wholesale changes to a squad he believes in.
But his players did little against Wimbledon to reward that faith as the team crashed to a fourth consecutive defeat to Terry Burton's men.
It irks Holdsworth when it is pointed out Mansfield have a poor record against the division's top sides.
But it is an inescapable fact that they have now lost all four matches against top six teams in 2010-11.
The Stags made two changes to the side that had drawn 1-1 at Gateshead with Steve Foster returning to the backline for Tom Naylor after completing a suspension, while Ashley Cain made his first start with Adam Smith starting a three-game ban.
A sign of the disastrous night that was to follow came as the hosts fell a goal down in 11 seconds before most of their players had touched the ball.
Christian Jolley was given space to ghost into the left-hand side of the area and he pulled the ball back for Sammy Moore, who slid the ball home from close range.
It was 2-0 in the ninth minute after an under-strength back header was well short of Alan Marriott and Jolley nipped in to lob the ball home from 12 yards.
Mansfield were duly forced to abandon their 4-4-1-1 formation, with Louis Briscoe moving up front along side Paul Connor and Kyle Nix switching to the left flank.
As the half wore on, Cain was belatedly brought into the game and he promptly helped the Stags get a foothold in the game.
The winger was played in down the right by Briscoe and sent over an excellent cross to the far post for Connor, who looped a precise header over Brown.
However, two minutes from the interval the visitors restored their two-goal lead. Mansfield were appealing for a handball and were caught cold when Danny Kedwell raced onto Ricky Wellard's through ball to round Marriott and tap home.
During the interval, Mansfield were forced to bring on Neil Collett for Marriott, who had been struggling with a groin injury.
The Stags went all out for the goal that could have thrown them a lifeline, but those hopes were scotched by a slick counter and fourth Wimbledon strike on the hour.
Sammy Moore set Ryan Jackson away through the inside right channel and he advanced into the box before slamming past the keeper.
Luke Medley came on for Nix and twice went close with curling efforts and later went on to hit a post after rounding Brown.
But there was more woe for the Stags when the two Moores combined to make it five.
Substitute Luke crossed from the left for Sammy to volley home his second of the night, despite Sandwith's attempt to block.
It summed up the evening when the crowd was read out – a season-best of 2,699 watching arguably Mansfield's worst performance.
Not even a late consolation from Briscoe, or an ironic golden goal draw win for Radford, could lift the gloom.
Match stats: Stags v AFC Wimbledon
Mansfield: Marriott (Collett 46), Silk, Foster, C. Smith, Sandwith, Cain, Mills, Nix (Medley 61), Briscoe, Murray, Connor (Duffy 77). Subs not used: Naylor, Stonehouse.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Yakubu (Franks 75), Harris, Bush, Gregory, Wellard, S. Moore, Jackson, Kedwell (Main 79), Jolley (L. Moore 71). Subs not used: Turner, Yussuf.
Referee: Billy Khatib (Sunderland).
Attendance: 2,699 (209 visitors).
Mansfield 2: Connor (34), Briscoe (84).
Wimbledon 5: S. Moore (1, 74), Jolley (9), Kedwell (43), Jackson (60).
Shots on target: Mansfield 8 AFC Wimbledon 8.
Shots off target: Mansfield 7 AFC Wimbledon 3.
Fouls: Mansfield 8 AFC Wimbledon 5.
Corners: Mansfield 4 AFC Wimbledon 5.
Offsides: Mansfield 2 AFC Wimbledon 3.
Mansfield 2: (Silk, 41, foul; Sandwith, 43, foul)
AFC Wimbledon 0.
Sendings off: Mansfield AFC 0 Wimbledon 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Paul Connor. The striker worked hard, held the ball up well and collected his seventh goal of the season with a first half header. One of the few plusses on a forgettable night.
report from mansfieldtown.net, Dan Branowsky reports
Mansfield Town 2 - 5 AFC Wimbledon
Mansfield were left in disarray after a 5-2 defeat at home to A.F.C Wimbledon at Field Mill tonight.
The Stags had a nightmare start, conceding twice in the opening 10 minutes and they never got into full flow, being made to pay by The Crazy Gang.
A huge top of the table clash awaited the Stags, as they faced high flying A.F.C Wimbledon. The Dons started the night 3 points ahead of Mansfield, in second place.
After Adam Smith's dismissal on Saturday, Ashley Cain took his position on the wing, as he faces a 3 match ban and Steve Foster is back in the side after serving his one match suspension.
The game started in amazing fashion for the visitors as they took the lead on 13 seconds, Christian Jolley broke down the left hand side, showing off his pace before playing in Sammy Moore who finished with ease from close range.
Mansfield looked to respond quickly as Wimbledon's defence stuttered when a high ball was sent into the mixer, but Connors shot lacked power and pace.
Wimbledon struck another after nine minutes in equally unbelievable fashion. Ashley Cain was agonisingly close to getting on the end of a Wimbledon pass back, before Seb Brown booted the ball up field. To everyone's surprise, Chris Smith's header back to the keeper fell short and Jolley got in before Marriott, lobbing the ball into the open net.
Field Mill was simply shocked, The Stags finding themselves two goals with only nine minutes gone.
Mansfield continued to struggle to get a stranglehold on the game and it was Wimbledon who looked the better side, constantly pressuring the defence into making silly mistakes and The Stags made a number of wayward passes in the opening 20.
The crowd started to get more and more agitated as Mansfield searched for an opening. Connor made a number of good knocks but The Stags often resorted to long balls towards the target man. Wimbledon themselves, failed to create any other chances in the opening 25 minutes, the first period of the match being something of a midfield battle.
Danny Kedwell went the closest to a third, when a dubious free kick was fired towards him at the back post but his header went wide of the mark, much to the relief of the fans.
A rare glimpse of goal came from Mansfield on 30 minutes when Louis Briscoe weaved in and around the Dons defence before finding an un-marked Nix whose shot was straight at the keeper.
The Stags went close again after Cain's brilliant ball found Briscoe who perhaps should have tried to hit the target but his header found Connor who headed straight at the keeper.
These chances sparked the Stags into life as they started to look more and more threatening. Ashley Cain again, whipped in a delightful ball towards Connor who, from the back post looped his header into the back of the net. A hugely important goal for the Stags as they cut their deficit in half with style.
Christian Jolley once again showed his terrific pace after taking on 3 or 4 Mansfield players and getting himself to the by-line before pulling it back to no-one.
After what the fans thought was a handball by Gregory, The Dons took advantage of this as Ricky Wellard played a beautiful through ball to Danny Kedward, who rounded the keeper and finished with ease. The fans were furious and vented their anger, as they believed the goal shouldn't have stood.
In the dying minutes of the half, Wellard and Kedwell combined again before laying the ball off to Sammy Moore whose thunderous strike was saved brilliantly by Marriott.
The Stags started the second half with Neil Collett in goal, coming on for Alan Marriott who has been struggling with a groin injury.
The Stags started the second half brightly as Ashley Cain burst past The Dons defence on the right before playing a zipping ball across the box which Connor couldn't quite connect with.
The Stags continued to play better when Briscoe showed good composure to pick the right ball over the top to Ashley Cain. The flying winger's ball into the box was just short of Connor who would have surely hit the target.
A.F.C Wimbledon threatened to increase their lead when Ryan Jackson who was in acres of space on the right hand side, pulled the ball back to Kedwell but his shot was deflected and went wide.
On 58 minutes, Nix seemed to over run the ball into The Dons defence but intelligently played the ball out to Sandwith who curled his effort just wide of the right hand post.
The Stags' frailties were confirmed on 60 minutes, when A.F.C Wimbledon all but finished off the match. Sammy Moore chipped the ball over the defence onto Jackson, who lost Sandwith and had acres of space before smashing the ball emphatically into the back of the net. 1-4 down and a truly disappointing score-line and one that neither the team, nor the fans are used to this season.
David Holdsworth brought on 12th Stag Luke Medley to try and find a way back into the game and he made an immediate impact when he picked up the ball 25 yards out before rifling his effort just over the cross bar.
If the game wasn't beyond doubt before, then it certainly was after 74 minutes when The Crazy Gang grabbed their 5th of the evening. A seemingly harmless ball was whipped into the Stags area, but Sammy Moore managed to wriggle his way in between the Mansfield backline and his volley, somewhat fortunately, lobbed the keeper.
Luke Medley, once again the bright spark made a spirited and determined run through The Dons defence with only 8 minutes left on the clock but he over-run the ball and it was dealt with by the defence.
Determined to decrease their deficit, The Stags struck on the 83rd minute when Luke Medley held up the ball on the edge of the box before playing in Louis Briscoe into space who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Only a consolation, but if Mansfield are to be pushing for promotion this season, then every goal is vital in the pursuit for a good goal difference.
Nix and Foster respectively, made two vital challenges in the dying minutes as The Dons continued to find space in the Mansfield box. Another chance went begging for the visitors when, in the final minute a flying ball which seemed destined for Jon Main to stab in was completely missed by the substitute striker.
Luke Medley showed another example of why he's quickly become a fans favourite when he left the keeper for dead and only had the goal to aim at but his shot was hit wide, from a tight angle.
The match ended 2-5 and saw the Stags slip to 6th in the table. A night to forget for Mansfield Town.
Dons take all three points in an impressive performance at Field Mill
The Dons consolidated their second place in the Blue Square Bet Premier last night with a thrilling display of passing football and clinical chance-taking at Field Mill.
Wimbledon took the lead even before a Stags player had touched the ball as, straight from the kick off, Danny Kedwell won the first of many headers on the night. The ball dropped for Christian Jolley who took it to the by-line before cutting it back for Sammy Moore to slot it home. This was after 11 seconds by our official time-keeper's records.
It got even better when after nine minutes a header from Chris Smith fell short of his 'keeper and Jolley nipped in to lift it over Alan Marriott. With their confidence boosted by these early goals Wimbledon continued to look dangerous but it was Mansfield who clawed their way back into the game when a cross from the right beat everyone and Paul Connor hit a fine header into the net from beyond the far post.
This was the cue for more Mansfield attacks but in the 43rd minute the game was effectively over as Ricky Wellard threaded a pass between the centre backs for Kedwell to latch on to, round Marriott and pass the ball into the net. Mansfield protested vociferously as they felt there was a handball in the build up, but the goal stood and the Dons left the pitch at half time 3-1 up.
If there was any doubt about the result, it was extinguished on the hour when Sammy Moore lifted a pass over the advancing Mansfield back four into the path of Ryan Jackson who took the ball into the penalty area before smashing it past Neil Collett, on for the injured Alan Marriott at half time. On a night when almost everything they tried seemed to work, the Dons scored a fifth when a deep cross from Luke Moore eluded everyone and Sammy Moore got across the defender to see the ball loop into the net for his second of the night and his fourth of the season.
To their credit Mansfield continued to play passing football and they got a reward for their efforts when the impressive Louis Briscoe scored a late consolation.
So the Dons came away with five goals against a team that had previously conceded only three at home all season. No wonder Terry Brown was delighted when we spoke to him the morning after the game.
"It was a wonderful night for the 200+ supporters who travelled to Field Mill. You think to yourself as a manager that it could be our night when we score after 11 seconds and although we do practice re-starts, I think I'd be hard pressed to claim it was a set piece.
"It would be difficult to name a man of the match on Tuesday as there were several outstanding performances. However, I was particularly pleased that Ricky Wellard settled into a slightly different midfield role and provided what for me was the killer goal in the 43rd minute by Danny Kedwell.
"What was particularly pleasing last night was that we beat a very good side in Mansfield. Having previously watched them twice they are certainly one of the best footballing sides in the Conference and are the only other side I've seen so far that look to play from the back.
"Hopefully Mike will have patched up the two or three injuries we suffered yesterday as the three players that came off on Tuesday night were all suffering from minor knocks. Tuesday's win will give us a great deal of confidence going into what will be a very difficult game against an in-form Wrexham side."
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