Taylor’s red card frustrates Dons boss
BOTH managers were left suitably annoyed after Mansfield’s third successive 1-1 home draw extended ten-man AFC Wimbledon’s unbeaten away record this season.
A terrific 20-yard freekick by Chris Clements cancelled out Tom Elliott’s sixth-minute breakthrough for the visitors and from then on chances were at a premium.
But Dons boss Neil Ardley was upset that substitute Lyle Taylor was red-carded in injury time after a clash with Mansfield’s Nicky Hunt.
“The game has been spoiled by outside influences,” Ardley said.“Both managers are very frustrated and disappointed by some of the bookings.
“If you are going to book players for certain things you will be left with eight players on the pitch. I said to the referee at halftime,‘I guarantee you will send one of our players off,’ and I have been proved right.
“Two players were tussling for the ball and Hunt has been caught by a flaying arm. How the referee can see it I don’t know.We lost our way because of the man in the middle.
“We got in great positions, there was an intent there, but we couldn’t finish them off.
“We played two up front, we didn’t come to park the bus.
“After the equaliser it became a war of attrition, a bitty game with two teams scrapping.We did more things right than the home team.”
Sean Rigg sliced wide from 20 yards after a spell of early Wimbledon pressure before Elliott struck, firing under keeper Brian Jensen from 20 yards after a flick from George Francomb.
The livewire Elliott almost doubled the advantage with a shot into the side-netting as the visitors dominated the opening 15 minutes, spearheaded by the aerial ability of burly striker Adebayo Akinfenwa
he Stags levelled against the run of play in the 15th minute, Clements curling a 20-yard free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.
Seven minutes into the second half Reggie Lambe’s shot was headed off the line by Paul Robinson as Mansfield soaked up pressure before breaking quickly.
At the other end, Rigg’s powerful drive was beaten away by the diving Jensen.
Mansfield manager Adam Murray said:“It was a frustrating game that I never thought we were going to lose but I never thought we were going to win.
“We didn't show enough care or penetration with the ball.
“When we did we went a bit long and we are better than that. The plus point was that for a team that's not quite clicking at the moment we have not lost.”
STAR MAN CHRIS CLEME