Ardley rues sloppiness as AFC Wimbledon beaten on road again at Mansfield

Mansfield Town 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Neal Ardley accused his AFC Wimbledon squad of not doing their jobs properly as they were denied a share of the points late on at Mansfield last night.

Stags’ striker Rakish Bingham’s 87th minute strike condemned the Dons to their third away defeat on the bounce, extending their winless run on the road to eight games.

The Dons were behind after 56 minutes through Lee Beevers’ defelcted effort but parity was restored when George Francomb, taking over penalty duties from top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa, struck 12 minutes later from the spot.

It was the latest in a series of sub-par performances for the Dons that look like ruling them out of play-off contention and Ardley was upset by his side’s sloppiness.

“It was a harsh defeat, but we did not see our jobs through and we have lost the game because of it,” he said.

“We have been punished for sloppy defending and missing four or five one-on-ones. If you are not good enough in their box and not good enough in your own box then it will be tough to win.”

There was a return to the line-up for goalkeeper Ross Worner, who was first choice last season but spent the first half of this campaign on loan at Woking, and his performance earned praise from the Wimbledon boss.

However there was an injury to Callum Kennedy, who was forced to leave the field after just half an hour to be replaced by goal scorer Francomb.

Following Wimbledon’s equaliser, Adebayo Azeez came agonisingly close to putting the Dons ahead 10 minutes from time but his effort sailed over.

“I thought the boys gave everything,” Neal said.

“It was a passionate performance, but we have missed a few one-on-one chances and they are the moments that change games.”

The Dons must now rebuild to avoid their season fizzling away, starting against Portsmouth, who have struggled against Wimbledon over the past two seasons, who visit Kingsmeadow on Saturday.

Feature image courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV, via Youtube, with thanks

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