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MANSFIELD UNABLE TO COPE WITH WIMBLEDON STRENGTH
19th January 2016 0:02


Football League - Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
Taylor 49, Meads 77, Azeez 87. Green 11
Attendance: 4089 (302 from Mansfield)

Date: 16 January 2016

MANSFIELD UNABLE TO COPE WITH WIMBLEDON STRENGTH AND ROUTE ONE FOOTBALL

Martin Shaw at Kingsmeadow

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 by AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow this afternoon in a game that was remarkable in its contrast between the first half and second half. The Stags were terrific in the first half and deservedly in front at the break. It was 1-0 with a goal from Matt Green that took him to 66 league & cup goals, and equal 7th in Mansfield’s all-time list of goalscorers (level with Dave Caldwell). The goal came after a lovely free-kick in from Adams, the goalkeeper failed to deal with it, a shot from Lambe was blocked straight to Green who side-footed in from an angle on the right, on 11 minutes. The Stags should have been further ahead at the break with some good chances including a glorious chance for Lambe and then an effort from Green which agonisingly went just wide, right on the stroke of half time. Chris Clements was outstanding in that first half, with Green and Adams and plenty of others also very good. In all the league away games this season before today, Mansfield had incredibly only conceded two second half goals and they were both penalties (at Luton and Barnet) so hopes were high that Mansfield would have enough in the tank for a victory. But what followed was instead a second half horror show. On 48 minutes, a long ball forward from halfway inside his own half by centre-half Osborne was flicked on by Rigg to Kyle Taylor who powered forward, rounded Jensen and slotted into an empty net. Route one football at its most dangerous. The referee gave the goal, then after some considerable time, consulted with his linesman and ruled it out again. That was the correct decision as video evidence that I have from right in line shows it was indeed a yard offside. That should have been the let-off the Stags needed to deflate the home side. Instead, just 11 seconds after the game re-started with a free-kick from Jensen, Wimbledon had scored and this time there would be no ruling it out. Jensen’s free-kick well into the Wimbledon half was booted straight back, Pearce, running back towards his own goal, got there first, tried to play it back to Jensen, but left it woefully short, allowing Kyle Taylor to nip in and fire under Jensen into the net. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and I don’t think anyone else could either. Stags undone by route one football again but Pearce’s error was almost unforgiveable given what had gone just before it. Two minutes later, more route one football by the home side, a ball flicked on to Bulman, and he fired just wide. This was horrible to watch and my mind had gone back to that 20 minutes at Barnet when Barnet brought on Akinde, started playing route one football and we simply couldn’t cope with it. On that occasion we got away with it because it came too late for Barnet and we were already two ahead. Murray had to do something here to change it, and he brought on McGuire to sit in front of the back four. This was a sensible change in the circumstances in my opinion and McGuire has carried out this role successfully in backs-to-the-wall situations before. The Stags recovered their composure and Green had a great chance to put the Stags back in front on 64 minutes when he turned and fired into the side netting with the keeper out of position. Then Mitch Rose had a great chance too on 68 minutes firing wide from a great position. With 20 minutes to go, the game could have gone either way, but it was to be Wimbledon who found another gear to go on and win it. Azeez headed into the side netting when he should have scored on 71 minutes from a corner. And it was from another corner that Wimbledon did score as Meades, who from the video was being man-marked by Mitch Rose, but got away from Rose and leapt to head in. Sleepy work from Rose who didn’t do his job. The Stags didn’t lie down and were so unlucky on 80 minutes as Clements got past one man and curled a terrific shot against the post. Clements really didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. On 87 minutes, a huge goal-kick from James Shea, Pearce and Tom Elliott rose for it, Elliott won the header flicking it into the path of Azeez who simply ran on to it and flicked past Jensen and into the net. Oh no, another route one goal with pace and power. Into stoppage and nearly another carbon copy goal, a long ball over the top, Azeez got past Pearce and shot into the side netting. Rose should have pulled one back after that firing wide from a great position. So some poor defending from Mansfield in the second half was costly. It was tough to take that Mansfield had been blown away by power, strength, route one football and generally out-muscled. Some hard thinking to do with how Mansfield are going to combat this when they come up against it again. Hard lines on Chris Clements, who was outstanding and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. And let’s celebrate Matt Green going equal 7th in Mansfield’s all-time list of league and cup goalscorers (since we joined the league in 1931).

So Mansfield drop below Wimbledon, but still just a point outside the play-offs. Next week the visit of Luton to Field Mill in a game that can’t come soon enough as the Stags will want to get this defeat out of the system, and a game against one of the biggest rivals of recent years.

FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

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Stags let slip half-time lead and lose out to AFC Wimbledon
chad.co.uk report, by Agency, Saturday 16 January 2016

Mansfield Town traded places with AFC Wimbledon in League Two, as Adam Murray’s Stags let slip a half-time lead and returned home empty-handed.

The 3-1 victory saw the Dons move up into eighth, with Mansfield dropping one position in the table.

The Stags began well, Matt Green putting them ahead, but things turned sour after the break as Lyle Taylor, Jonathan Meades and Adebayo Azeez each found the net for the Dons.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-let-slip-half-time-lead-and-lose-out-to-afc-wimbledon-1-7679570#ixzz3xRluKjkw

Green won a free kick on 11 minutes and, after Wimbledon goalkeeper James Shea failed to punch clear, he was on hand to tap home and give Adam Murray’s side the lead.

Green almost had the chance to double Mansfield’s lead on 24 minutes when he found his way into the penalty area, but a well timed tackle from Paul Robinson thwarted the chance.

The away side’s ability to keep possession well began paying off, and they created another chance ten minutes before the break but Dons keeper Shea smothered the ball at the feet of Reggie Lambe to prevent a certain goal.

With seconds to go before the half time whistle, Green again found his way through on goal, but a courageous block from Barry Fuller saw his shot deflect out behind Shea’s goal to ensure the Stags went into half time just one goal ahead.

Taylor saw a goal ruled out for offside early in the second half but seconds later, he broke through on goal and calmly slotted into the centre of the goal.

On 78 minutes a corner whipped in by substitute Callum Kennedy was met by Meades to powerfully head the ball into the bottom corner.

Mansfield almost immediately equalised when a beautifully curled effort from Chris Clements cannoned off the post, but Wimbledon cleared the ball to safety.

And with just four minutes to go, Tom Elliot flicked the ball through to Azeez who chipped over Brian Jensen to round things off.

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Dons earn thrilling win
Sat 16 Jan 2016
by Chris Slavin, afcwimbledon.co.uk

Second-half turnaround secures home victory

The Dons produced a superb second-half fightback to earn a first home victory since 31 October in thrilling style against Mansfield.

Second-half goals from Lyle Taylor (pictured), Jon Meades and Ade Azeez secured a 3-1 win that ended a dismal run against the men from Nottinghamshire.

Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/dons-earn-thrilling-win-2905070.aspx#jceU87exkpuPW67I.99

A third successive victory was fully deserved for Wimbledon on the day as the Dons produced a stunning turnaround after a first-half when Mansfield were in control.

Neal Ardley was forced to make two changes to his starting line-up with Jake Reeves and George Francomb both injured. That meant recalls for Sean Rigg and Tom Elliott, who had scored in his last start against Exeter City. Both sides came into this match in good form with the Dons unbeaten in four and Mansfield having lost just once in their last five league games.

Wimbledon almost contributed to their own downfall in the seventh minute when a pass from Jon Meades to Paul Robinson fell short and Matt Green was put through, but James Shea just got there first to clear. However, there was no reprieve four minutes later when Shea failed to collect a free-kick from Blair Adams and the ball eventually fell to Green, who finished clinically. It had been a bold start from Mansfield as their direct approach continued to cause problems, Wimbledon struggling to clear the ball on several occasions.

The Dons gradually started to come into it and had a first effort on goal when a corner from Lyle Taylor was only half cleared and Andy Barcham struck a powerful effort that Mansfield goalkeeper Brian Jensen only just managed to gather. Dannie Bulman then picked out Barry Fuller on the right and his cross was met by Taylor, but he fired over the crossbar. Though Wimbledon’s three up front of Bayo Akinfenwa, Taylor and Elliott were looking lively early on, it was proving difficult to get them enough service as Mansfield won plenty of ball in midfield.

Green was a constant threat for Mansfield and it needed fine defensive work from Paul Robinson to stop him going through on goal after he had eluded Karleigh Osborne’s challenge. It was Shea to the rescue 10 minutes before half-time when he got down well to deny Reggie Lambe after a pass from Chris Clements had opened up the Dons. At the other end, Taylor came so close to creating the equaliser when he latched onto a pass from Bulman down the right and sent in a dangerous cross, but Elliott was just unable to reach it.

With Wimbledon having struggled to exert sustained pressure in the first-half, the 4-3-3 formation was ditched and Callum Kennedy entered the fray for Akinfenwa. The change paid off almost immediately after the break with Taylor now using his pace through the middle. In a bizarre sequence of events, Wimbledon fans and players first celebrated after Taylor rounded Jensen and shot home, but the linesman’s flag was up. Then less than 60 seconds later it was 1-1 when Taylor again powered through the middle after latching onto a long ball and stabbed home, the celebrations this time even more vocal.

It was a completely different game now as Wimbledon swarmed forward and Bulman, who impressed with his energy and drive in midfield, powered a shot just wide. Mansfield retained threat on the break, especially with that man Green. A mix-up between Robinson and Shea gave Green another chance, but with Osborne back on the line he failed to pick his spot and shot wide.

Neal Ardley decided to introduce Ade Azeez with 20 minutes to play with Taylor the man to make way. The change so nearly signalled a lead for Wimbledon as Azeez headed just wide after a deep corner from Kennedy. Barcham also had an effort superbly saved by Jensen as Wimbledon forced Mansfield into desperate last-ditch defending.

However, Wimbledon’s second-half pressure finally paid off in the 76th minute. Kennedy’s crossing had given Mansfield something different to think about in the second-half and that proved crucial for the winner. A third corner in quick succession from Kennedy yielded the ultimate reward when Meades headed home superbly at the near post. Cue ecstatic scenes among the Wimbledon faithful as the Dons closed in on a long-awaited home win.

However, that was far from the end of the story. There was a moment of relief for Wimbledon when Chris Clements struck a post, but the game was killed off four minutes from time through that man Azeez. Lightning pace took Azeez through on goal after a flick-on from Tom Elliott and he produced a lovely clipped finish over Jensen, showing the composure that has been such a feature of his improvement this season. A great way to finish and what a second-half turnaround from Wimbledon.

AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Paul Robinson, Karleigh Osborne, Jon Meades, Dannie Bulman, Sean Rigg, Andy Barcham, Tom Elliott, Lyle Taylor (Ade Azeez), Bayo Akinfenwa (Callum Kennedy).

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AFC Wimbledon’s memorable comeback sees them leapfrog Mansfield
by Adam Harwood, london24.com

AFC Wimbledon staged a remarkable second half recovery to leapfrog Mansfield in the League Two table and go level with seventh placed Accrington Stanley.

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/sport/football/afc_wimbledon_s_memorable_comeback_sees_them_leapfrog_mansfield_1_4382384

The Dons, who have struggled for home form of late, were deservedly one down at half time but second half goals from Lyle Taylor, Jon Meades and Ade Azeez mean it is they who take the spoils after this entertaining match.
Mansfield, who started the day in 8th place, were keen to show their own attacking intent and comfortably won the midfield battle with Dons boss Neal Ardley opting for a 4-3-3 formation to compensate for the loss through injury of Jake Reeves and George Francomb.
And it was the Stags who took the lead in just the 10th minute, with the first chance of the game. A routine free kick caused panic in the box and the ball fell kindly to Matt Green who had time and space to tuck the ball in from close range.
Wimbledon grew in confidence as the half went on, but with their best efforts falling to right back Barry Fuller, whose shots did little to trouble visiting keeper Brian Jensen, it was Mansfield who continued to look most dangerous. Reggie Lambe in particular should have done better when a long ball played him in one on one, but Dons keeper James Shea came out on top.
Three minutes into the second half, the game saw its most contentious moment. A long ball through the middle seemed to elude all but Dons striker Lyle Taylor, who calmly rounded Jensen and struck the ball into the empty net.
The referee clearly signalled for a goal, but with Dons fans celebrating, he had a word with the linesman on the far side, who had neither flagged for offside or a foul, and inexplicably disallowed Taylor’s effort.
With the home fans enraged, Taylor won the ball almost immediately from the restart, and slotted the ball under Jensen to even the scores - this time in a legal manner. And better was to come for the Dons, who were beginning to dominate the game.
Midfielder Dannie Bulman went close with a rasping drive, Tom Elliott’s header went narrowly over the bar, and a Sean Rigg curling effort also nearly troubled Jensen. A second goal was inevitable but its eventual source was surprising. A Rigg corner was emphatically headed home by Meades - having gone three years without one he now has two in two.
Substitute Ade Azeez wrapped up the victory four minutes from time. With Mansfield pushing for an equaliser, Azeez ran onto a long ball and calmly lofted the ball over Jensen and into the far corner. Next up for the high flying Dons is a trip to Mansfield’s neighbours Notts County next Saturday.
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Meades, Fuller, Osborne, Robinson, Bulman, Rigg, Barcham, Elliott, Taylor (Azeez), Akinfenwa (Kennedy)
Attendance: 4,089 (302 Mansfield fans)
Man of the match: Jon Meades

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