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Nigel Clough frustrated as Mansfield draw again against AFC Wimbledon

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Oct 2023

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Mansfield boss Nigel Clough was frustrated by a third draw in a week after Stags were held 0-0 at home by promotion rivals AFC Wimbledon.

But Clough’s men remain the only unbeaten side in the league and the point did move them up to fifth, thanks to a superb first-half penalty save by Christy Pym.

“It was frustrating. There was a lack of composure and a lack of quality in that final third,” said Clough.

“I thought we had the chances and the situations. We just didn’t have anyone who could finish them off.

“There were three or four in the first half, certainly George Maris’ when it broke to him. I didn’t think it was a difficult finish.

“But it was another point, another clean sheet and it moved us up the league. It’s just very frustrating to draw three games in a week.”

On Pym’s penalty save, he said: “It was fantastic and preserved our unbeaten record with that save. I think if we had gone 1-0 down on this sort of day it would have been very difficult to get back into it.”

In a game short on chances, Omar Bugiel won a 27th-minute penalty after a foul by Lewis Brunt.

But Pym pushed James Tilley’s kick up against the bar. The ball dropped, bounced up and hit the bar a second time and Pym then grabbed it before it crossed the line.

Dons keeper Alex Bass denied Maris one-on-one just before the break and saved well from James Gale in the second half, who also headed wide from six yards.

Tilley had two more chances but Pym denied him at the near post and then saved his 25-yard shot at the second attempt after fumbling it at first.

Dons boss Johnnie Jackson was delighted with the point to back up two wins earlier in the week.

“I thought it was a really good game – they are a very good team,” he said.

“They are hard to play against, especially here. But I think we have gone toe to toe with them.

“We have come here and given them a proper game and for my mind we have done enough in the game to have come away with all three points.

“It was a tremendous performance from the team and I am so proud of the lads after the week we have had, the exertions and physical outputs we have put in to come here and play like that, I am really proud.

“That was a good point and it’s been a seven-point week.

“One of the most pleasing things about the performance is how few chances we allowed them.

“In most games they create a lot and score a lot. We limited them to efforts from distance and defended our box very well. I don’t think our keeper has had much to do.”

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