AFC Mansfield eased into the next round of The FA Cup courtesy of two second half Gary Bradshaw goals in a 2-0 win over South Normanton Athletic.
The home side can look forward to another home tie against Step 3 Stratford Town in two weeks’ time.
Without injured captain Chris Timons, the Bulls suffered another blow during the warm up when Danny Naylor tweaked his groin and was replaced in the starting line up by Danny Patterson.
AFC Mansfield were made to work for their win by a very compact and hardworking South Normanton side. But ultimately it was their lack of prowess up front that lead to their downfall.
The game started slowly with both teams tentatively feeling their way into the game. Things weren’t helped by the strong winds blowing around the ground which made football difficult. South Normanton saw the first chance of the game on 14 minutes when Mark Strzyweski header way over the bar from a corner.
On 20 minutes a beautifully curled free kick to the far post from Ryan Williams saw Gary Bradshaw fail to connect by inches in what would have been an opening goal.
Phil Massingham got in behind on 27 minutes but his effort was again well wide of the mark. Another superb cross from Williams on 39 minutes saw Bradshaw miss the target from five yards.
Massingham forced Jason White into probably his only real save of the game on 42 minutes with a snap 20-yard drive that the keeper tipped over the bar. Just before the break Bradshaw headed over another gilt edged chance from inside the six-yard box after good work from Jordan Annable and Williams down the right flank.
Ten minutes into the restart Bradshaw went close again after more excellent approach play from Williams and Annable. The striker’s curling effort just clearing the bar. Bulls were now the dominant side and with the winds at their backs forced Normanton deep into their own half.
Finally, the deadlock and the visitor’s stiff resistance was broken, Gary Bradshaw latched onto a D’Laryea through ball and fired past the advancing Charlie Mansfield in the Normanton goal.
Bradshaw’s persistence paid off ten minutes later after he grabbed his and AFC Mansfield’s second of the game. Clever approach work from Lynton Karkach sent Bradshaw clear and he clinically fired past Mansfield to send the Bulls through to the next round.
Good work in the final minutes from Glyn Cotton saw Grant Allott’s initial effort blocked but his follow up was hoisted over the bar.
AFC Mansfield will turn their attentions back to league duty when they visit Maltby Main next Saturday and host Albion Sports on Wednesday 31st before they face Stratford Town in the next Round on Saturday September 3rd.
BULLS: White, Annable, Dudley, Allott, Plummer, Patterson, Williams (C), D;Laryea (Cotton 82), Fearon (Karkach 75), Bradshaw, Ghaichem. Subs not used: Mitchell, Madin, Wilson, Chadburn, Wright. REFEREE: Mr Peter Henger (Sheffield).