Another Point On The Board As The Stags Record A 0-0 Draw Against AFC Wimbledon
Unbeaten in 15 games, Mansfield Town are crying out for a proven goalscorer as they are unable to breach the AFC Wimbledon defence and secure maximum points.
Dominating possession and having over double the number of shots than their opposition, the Stags were unable to probe forward effectively and failed to really test Dons goalkeeper Alex Bass throughout the 90 minutes.
The visitors had the best chance of the game as they won a penalty just before the half-hour mark with Lewis Brunt fouling Omar Bugiel in the penalty box.
James Tilley stepped up to the plate to take the spot kick but Christy Pym stayed firm and strong as he pushed the ball onto the crossbar and claimed it to make another vital penalty save.
Neither of the two sides looked threatening in the second-half as the game ended in a goalless draw and the points were shared between the two teams.
Ahead of the clash, Stags boss Nigel Clough made two changes to his starting XI from the side that drew 0-0 in midweek to Wrexham. Will Swan and Lewis Brunt stepped into the starting XI in place of Ollie Clarke and Calum Macdonald.
AFC Wimbledon manager Johnnie Jackson made one change from the side that beat Harrogate Town 1-0 on Tuesday night. Teenager Aron Sasu dropped to the bench as Josh Neufville came into the side.
Bugiel had the first chance of the game as he worked some space to release a shot from distance but it was gathered well by Pym.
Swan got past two Wimbledon players before cutting the ball back to Aaron Lewis, however, his effort hit Lucas Akins as the move broke down.
Mansfield Town looked to stretch the play as Aden Flint looked to find Baily Cargill but his pass was slightly overhit as it went over Stags’ number six.
Louis Reed looked to drive the amber and blues forward, however, he was the latest player to see his effort miss the target.
Davis Keillor-Dunn had two brilliant opportunities within a couple of minutes but Stags’ top goalscorer also failed to trouble Bass in the Wimbledon goal.
In the 27th minute, the visitors won a penalty as Brunt clipped Bugiel in the box which saw the forward go tumbling down in the box and a spot kick was awarded.
Tilley stepped up to take the kick from 12 yards as he looked into the eyes of Pym but did not deceive the goalkeeper as Stags’ number one stood firm, pushed the ball onto the bar and held onto it.
Moments later, Mansfield went close to opening the scoring as Akins turned his man before flashing an effort narrowly wide.
At the other end, Tilley broke forward and fired from range but it went wide of Pym’s goal.
In the dying embers of the first-half, George Maris had a fantastic opportunity to break the deadlock as the ball fell to him inside the box. The midfielder was one-on-one with the goalkeeper but fired his effort straight at Bass as the Stags failed to capitalise on a fantastic opportunity.
Tilley once again threatened Pym’s goal as he had another shot but Stags’ number one did well to deny Wimbledon’s midfielder once again.
Substitute Hiram Boateng’s first chance came as he sliced an effort over from the edge of the box.
James Gale had a fantastic chance to break the deadlock as Keillor-Dunn’s corner found the head of the forward, however, he failed to direct his effort goalwards.
The forward looked to turn provider this time around as he spotted Keillor-Dunn at the back post but his cross was headed away to safety by Jack Currie.
The points were shared between the two sides as Mansfield Town moved up to fifth with AFC Wimbledon dropping down to fourth.
Nigel Clough’s Stags now take on Doncaster Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy in midweek, and then, they face Notts County at Meadow Lane on Saturday in the first Nottinghamshire Derby since 2019.
AFC Wimbledon entertain Bradford City next weekend as the look to extend their unbeaten run and move back into the automatic promotion places.
Mansfield Town’s XI: Pym, Bowery (Johnson 70′), Flint, Brunt, Cargill, Reed, Lewis (Boateng 46′), Maris (Clarke 46′), Keillor-Dunn, Swan (Macdonald 71′), Akins (Gale 71′)
AFC Wimbledon’s XI: Bass, Reeves, Johnson, Tilley (Sasu 84′), Al Hamadi, Neufville, Little, Bugiel, Currie, Lewis, Ogunder