Saturday, 5th September 2015: Mansfield Town held by AFC Wimbledon for third home draw in a row

Mansfield Town v AFC Wimbledon -Skybet League One - One Call Stadium - Saturday 5th September 2015''Stags players celebrate the equaliser
Mansfield Town v AFC Wimbledon -Skybet League One - One Call Stadium - Saturday 5th September 2015''Stags players celebrate the equaliser

Mansfield Town had to be content with a third successive 1-1 home draw as they were held by AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

That left the Dons unbeaten away from home and Stags still looking for their first home win.

The visitors ended the game with 10 men when sub Lyle Taylor was sent off for an elbow on Nicky Hunt in the fourth minute of stoppage time. But it came too late to make a difference.

A slow start by Mansfield saw Tom Elliott grab a sixth minute lead only to see Chris Clements level with a superb 15th minute free kick.

That sparked Stags into life and they created some decent chances, twice seeing efforts cleared off the line and Ryan Tafazolli miss a great headed opportunity.

But as the game wore on, it was Brian Jensen who was the busier of the two keepers with Matt Green often isolated on his own up front and given poor service all game.

Mansfield’s best moments came through the vision and tenacity of Chris Clements.

But it took some excellent defending from Tafazolli and Krystian Pearce to maintain a point in the end.

Boss Adam Murray fielded the same side that won at York City last weekend.

That meant reversing the six changes made in midweek when Murray rested six of his side for the JPT exit at Notts County.

Murray had challenged his eighth-placed side to earn their first home win of the season and move up into the play-off places by the end of the afternoon.

But the visitors started the better, having a decent early penalty call turned down and Rigg pulling a low shot wide.

However, they did go ahead on six minutes as Francomb flicked on a ball down the middle to leave Elliott with only Jensen to beat, drilling a low shot under him.

On another Dons raid Elliott sent a low shot into the sidenetting.

Robinson was booked on 15 minutes for a foul on Clements

Francomb tested Jensen with a low shot on 22 minutes, but it was an easy save to make.

Tafazolli then should have scored for the home side from their first corner on 23 minutes, rising well at the far post to meet Chapman’s right wing corner but unable to steer his firm header on target.

The end to end action continued as Pearce jumped to get in a crucial header out for a corner at the far post with Akinfenwa lurking behind him unmarked.

Mansfield had a let-off when Tafazolli failed to get any distance on a headed clearance on 33 minutes, Elliott on hand to send a close range header just wide of the upright.

Reeves was booked for hacking down Clements and when the Dons struggled to clear the free kick, Pearce had a fierce volley blocked almost on the line.

On 39 minutes Westcarr sent Green away for the first time down the middle only for a defender’s toe to nick the ball off him before he could shoot as Mansfield ended the half on top.

Stags began the second half well and came so close on 52 minutes.

Green chased a through ball, beat the keeper to it and set up Lambe for a shot on target that Robinson had to head off the line.

Five minutes later Akinfenwa’s physical presence saw the ball run loose to Riff, whose low shot forced Jensen to get down and block.

Mansfield had a few hairy moments to survive as the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure, including some teasing crosses, and Jensen had to get down bravely as Akinfenwa slid in chasing a poor Tafazolli backpass on 67 minutes.

Dons sub Taylor was red-carded in stoppage time at the end for an elbow on Nicky Hunt.

And there was late hope as Mansfield won a free kick just outside the box with almost the last kick. But Clements just failed to repeat his heroics as this time his kick passed narrowly wide.

STAGS: Jensen; Hunt, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning; Chapman; Lambe (Nathan Thomas 66), Clements, Rose, Westcarr (Westcarr 76); Green. Subs not used: Marsden, Collins, Yussuf, J. Thomas, McGuire.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Shea, Fuller, Bulman, Robinson, Francomb, Reeves, Elliott (Taylor 66), Akinfewa (Azeez 76), Rigg, Meades, Osborne (Nightingale 30). Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, McDonnell, Gallagher, Kaja.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce of Cleveland.

ATTENDANCE: 3,042 (208)