AFC Mansfield find their scoring boots against Hall Road Rangers

Football
Football

AFC Mansfield finally found their goalscoring boots as they comprehensively beat visitors Hall Road Rangers 5-0 on Wednesday night.

It was a trio of ex Mansfield Town players that led the way with keeper Jason White getting the ball rolling with a 13th minute penalty.

A brace from Craig Mitchell, one from Ryan Williams and a header from centre half Grant Allott completed the scoring.

Hall Road’s cause wasn’t helped by the first half dismissal of striker Callum Harrison for an off the ball kick at Bulls captain Chris Timons.

The visitors were already 2 down at the time and Harrison left them with a mountain to climb.

A much more up tempo start to the game from AFC Mansfield, putting Hall Road on the back foot straight away.

Nathan Swindells saw his effort blocked in the six yard box the loose ball controlled by Phil Buxton before setting up Danny Naylor to fire a rasping drive that went inches over the bar.

The centre midfield pairing of Buxton and Naylor were pulling the strings and did so throughout the game as well as snuffing out any beginnings of possession the visitors had.

Swindells saw another effort drift over the bar before Craig Mitchell raced down the right flank and cut into the box, the striker was clipped from behind and a penalty was given.

Mitchell gave the ball to keeper Jason White and he fired an unstoppable drive past Jordan Douglas, his opposite number, to put The Bulls in front on 13 minutes.

Another fine run by Mitchell minutes later, latching onto a Buxton through ball before teeing up Ryan Williams who unfortunately fired wide of the mark.

Williams hit the target on 23 minutes, a fine run from Jimmy Ghaichem down the right his cross finding Swindells in the box. The striker held it up and then laid the ball off for Williams to drive home from 12 yards to double the home side’s advantage.

Swindells latched onto a Buxton through ball only to see his effort well saved by Douglas. Hall Road were reduced to 10 men on 27 minutes when an off the ball incident was spotted by the dugout side assistant and after consulting with the referee Callum Harrison received his marching orders for a kick at captain Chris Timons.

Mitchell made it 3-0 on 33 minutes racing clear before firing a thunderous drive into the roof of the net. Ryan Williams then saw his shot turned around for a corner after more good approach work from Swindells and Buxton.

A rare Hall Road attack saw Danny Walker fire over the bar from the edge of the box on 42 minutes but it remained 3-0 at the break.

The second half was barely four minutes old when Mitchell got his second goal finishing from three yards from a Swindells low driven cross.

The final goal came on the hour mark, a Luke Jeffs corner was met by the head of Grant Allott on the far post.

The Bulls then showed what they have for the future when they bought on three substitutes all under 21 in Steve Sowter, Danny Williams and Jake Park.

The home side continued to create chances with all three players looking sharp. Craig Mitchell put his close range effort wide of the far post after a superb curling cross from Jake Park.

At the other end the visitors had a couple of half chances dealt with by White who wasn’t about to relinquish his 11th clean sheet this season.

The Bulls travel to Winterton Rangers on Saturday hoping to continue the form shown against Hall Road Rangers.

AFC Mansfield: White, Jeffs, Dudley, Allott, Timons (C), Naylor (Sowter 61), Williams R (Williams D 63), Buxton, Swindells (Park 75), Mitchell & Ghaichem. Subs not used: Rick & Wilson

Hall Road Rangers: Douglas, Walsh, Thompson M (C), Harrison A, Blount, McKay, Foster, Garth, Walker, Harrison C, Kinsley. Subs: Bennett, Bensley, Thompson D & Dean

Referee: Mr Danny Guest (Sth Yorks.)

Assistants: Mr John Chambers (Derbys.) & Mr John Stevens (Derbys.)

Attendance: 51

Man of the Match: Phil Buxton