Mansfield Town 2-1 AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon are still looking for their first three points on the road of 2015 after going down to a late goal at Mansfield Town.
The Dons haven’t won away from home since the Boxing Day win at Portsmouth and that dreadful run continued at the One Call Stadium.
George Francomb had come off the bench to cancel out Lee Beevers’ opener but three minutes from time Rakish Bingham made Wimbledon pay for some terrible defending.
Dannie Bulman was missing through suspension having been dismissed for a rash challenge in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Exeter City.
That was one of four changes to the starting XI made by Neal Ardley as Callum Kennedy, Sammy Moore, Sean Rigg and goalkeeper Ross Worner came into the side.
Alfie Potter, George Francomb and young shot-stopper Joe McDonnell, who had been enjoying a run in the team in the absence of James Shea, were named on the bench.
The Dons survived a lucky escape early on as on-loan Scunthorpe United striker Billy Kee struck the underside of the bar for the hosts.
Dave Winfield, fresh from agreeing an extension to his stay from York, and Bayo Akinfenwa went near for Wimbledon but Lenny Pidgeley stood firm.
Kennedy was forced to withdraw midway through the first half having picked up a knock and Francomb entered the fray.
Jack Smith, who had been playing in midfield, dropped back into the defence and Francomb took his place in a three in the centre of the park.
It remained goalless at the break but the Dons should have taken the lead shortly after the restart and Jake Reeves will have felt he could have done better with a tame effort.
But instead it was Mansfield who grabbed the lead in fortuitous fashion on 56 minutes when Beevers’ ferocious drive took a wicked deflection and bamboozled Worner.
The lead lasted a little over 10 minutes though as Ryan Tafazolli was penalised for handball and Francomb took over spot-kick duties from Akinfenwa and rifled it home.
Wimbledon substitute Ade Azeez then beat the offside trap and forced a wonderful one-on-one save from former Chelsea goalkeeper Pidgeley to keep it all square.
Ardley played his final card with the introduction of Alfie Potter, replacing Reading striker Craig Tanner, as the men from Kingsmeadow went looking for a winner.
The winner was found, but not by the Dons, as it was Stags substitute Bingham who struck the crucial blow with three minutes to go after some sloppy Wimbledon defending.
AFC Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Smith, Moore, Akinfenwa, Rigg (Azeez, 66), Kennedy (Francomb, 31), Reeves, Tanner (Potter, 74), Winfield, Oshilaja.
Subs (not used): McDonnell, Phillips, Fitzpatrick, Gallagher.