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Match Reports

Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Stags

4 March 2023

Match Reports

Report: AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Stags

4 March 2023

Clinical Mansfield Town came from behind to record an impressive 3-1 win in their first-ever visit to Cherry Red Records Stadium, Wimbledon.

In an all-action first-half, the Dons led on 25 minutes through Ali Al Hamadi's strike before Riley Harbottle's prodded effort restored parity five minutes later.

Then, in a second half of fewer chances, super sub Danny Johnson and skillful midfielder Davis Keillor-Dunn both found the net to push Wimbledon out of sight.

As part of two changes in the Stags' camp, Scott Flinders replaced Christy Pym in goal, who was out with illness.

And at right wing-back, Callum Johnson came in for Elliott Hewitt.

Stags had commanding defender Alfie Kilgour to thank inside the opening three minutes of a lively first half.

Mansfield's defence was breached on the inside left when Ethan Chislett played a neat one-two inside the box. But as he was set to pull the trigger, Kiglour raced in to block the midfielder's drive.

At the other end, Stags' skipper Ollie Clarke was the first name in the referee's notebook for a foul midway inside the home half.

Chislett then had another chance for the Dons inside the eighth minute.

Defender Riley Harbottle was unable to properly clear an awkward left-sided cross into the box, but Chisllett failed to capitalise by directing a swerving effort well wide.

Dons attempted to hit Mansfield on the counter-surge after 12 minutes, though Josh Davison's effort on the right flank drifted harmlessly across the goal area.

Wimbledon were again causing problems inside the box and James Perch made a fine stop with his chest to deny Kasey McAteer's drive on the edge of the six-yard box after Chislett got the better of Harbottle on the goalline.

At the other end, Wimbledon were living dangerously as Stags sent in a number of inviting corners in the opening stages.

The latest of which saw Quinn's flag-kick not properly cleared, allowing Clarke to head deeper into the box, where Kilgour prodded over from seven yards, under pressure from a Dons' defender.

Then, a long throw from Harbottle near the corner flag saw goalkeeper Nik Tzanev punch thin air as Clarke flicked goalwards, only for Wimbledon to half clear.

And as the ball came back into the box from Quinn's cross, Harbottle connected with an outstretched leg but his shot was denied by a Dons' defender at the front post.

Stags were undone on 25 minutes after a quick breakaway, started by a long punt from Alex Pearce.

Ali Al Hamadi kept himelf onside to advance forward, step beyond James Perch on the right of the box and fire a low drive beneath Scott Flinders.

Stags were soon level on 30 minutes.

With Mansfield well forward following a free-kick, Perch laid it to the left of the area for Quinn to deliver low into the box, and Harbottle was first to connect inside a crowded area as he poked home from 12 yards.

Wallace was shown a yellow card on 32 minutes for a foul on McAteer before Armani Little curled over a 25-yard free-kick two minutes later.

Man-mountain Kilgour made another fine block on 40 minutes to stop Davison's strike inside the box.

Back at the other end, Dons' goalkeeper Tzanev almost hit the self-destruct button on 40 minutes when a seemingly routine ball up field was instead struck into the back of Keillor-Dunn. With the goalkeeper stranded outside his box, Keillor-Dunn slipped it to Quinn on the left, who clipped a 25-yard effort off target.

Near the end of the half, Harbottle was booked for a foul on Ali Al Hamadi.

At the break, Stags' striker Danny Johnson took the place of his namesake Callum, with Lucas Akins moving to right wing-back.

Second-half chances were at a premium in the first 15 minutes of the second period, but the cards kept coming; with Wimbledon's Kasey McAteer booked for a challenge on Jordan Bowery.

As the game crept beyond the hour, Nigel Clough made a second change as midfielder Hiram Boateng entered the fray for Kieran Wallace.

On 65 minutes, Harbottle stood strong inside the Stags' box to prevent a certain goalbound effort.

Kalambayi darted down the left before pulling it back for McAteer, whose attempt was denied by the Forest loanee from 12 yards.

Then, Mansfield took the upper hand with their first meaningful charge at goal in the second half after 66 minutes.

Danny Johnson latched on to an excellent throughball by Boateng and despite not acquiring the cleanest connection from the edge of the box, his right-footed effort was enough for the ball to trickle into the bottom left-hand corner.

On 71 minutes, Jason Law replaced Stephen Quinn in the Stags' midfield.

Three minutes later, Dons' chief Jonnie Jackson made a treble change in a desperate bid to claw his men back into the match.

Stags, however, had other ideas and  wrapped up the contest on 76 minutes.

Dons' left-back Jack Currie made a hash of a routine-looking clearance, inadvertently diverting it to the advancing Davis Keillor-Dunn, who brought the ball onto his left foot before finishing superbly into the bottom corner from 14 yards.

Stags were now brimming with confidence and on 85 minutes Akins fired a pot shot over the angle as they sought another goal.

In a final change for Mansfield, Keillor-Dunn was given a standing ovation by the travelling fans when he left the field for forward James Gale on 87 minutes.

Wimbledon did little to trouble the Stags in the closing stages, as Mansfield professionally saw the game to its conclusion.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Tzanev, Gunter (Marsh 74), Woodward, Davison (Pearson 74), Chislett, Al-Hamadi, Pearce (Pierre 74), Little, McAteer (Janneh 65), Currie, Kalambayi

UNUSED SUBS: Broome, Nightingale,

STAGS: Flinders, C. Johnson (D. Johnson H/T), Harbottle, Kilgour, Perch, Bowery, Clarke, Wallace (Boateng 62), Quinn (Law 71), Keillor-Dunn (Gale 87), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Collin, Anderson, Abdullah

REFEREE: Ollie Yates

ATTENDANCE: 7,939 (905 Stags' fans)

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