AFC Manfield suffer third straight defeat as season fizzles out

Action from AFC Mansfield's 2-1 defeat
Action from AFC Mansfield's 2-1 defeat

AFC Mansfield suffered their third successive league defeat after they were beaten 2-1 at promotion hopefuls Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Saturday.

Without injured Ryan Williams and Ash Kitchen and captain Chris Timons serving a one match ban Manager Rudi Funk had some changes to make.

Into the side came U21 players Brad Wilson and Declan Brewin along with Tommy Hannigan who was returning from injury.

Once again The Bulls had the majority of play as they failed to concvert possession into goals against a tough defensive outfit.

Tommy Hannigan went closer on 22 minutes when his flicked header from Cotton’s free-kick shaved the bottom of the right hand post.

AFC Mansfield looked most likely to score and Jimmy Ghaichem had his effort turned around the post after a flick on from Craig Mitchell on 26 minutes.

It was a fiercely competitive game with both sets of players getting stuck in, but play continued in the same vein with The Bulls having the chances and wasting them at regular intervals.

Joe Naylor turned neatly in the box on 43 minutes from a Cotton through ball, but again his low drive went narrowly wide.

Hemsworth looked brighter at the start of the second half as Adam Wilson saw an effort cannon back off the crossbar.

The home side took the lead when Dominic Blair fired home on 75 minutes after indecision between White and Wilson had allowed Nick Guest to square the ball for the youngster.

Joe Naylor had his header saved superbly by Bentley from a Ghaichem cross on 82 minutes as The Bulls continued to look the better side, .

The visitors were hit with a sucker punch two minutes from time as they were caught on the break when a Dudley corner was cleared up field and Blair confidently lifted his effort over White to double his tally.

The goal that AFC Mansfield were desperately searching for came a minute later Tristan Whitman finished from close range.

The Bulls pushed until the final whistle with Joe Naylor having two efforts turned over the bar for corners.

But it wasn’t to be and once again missed chances have cost AFC Mansfield as the season is beginning to fizzle out.

Rudi Funk takes his side to Retford on Tuesday night for a friendly and hopefully they can iron out some of the problems in front of goal.

Hemsworth MW: Bentley, Tonks, Clark (Viggars 85), Swift, Colbear, Steers, Connolly (Pugh 89), Yates, Guest, Crapper (Blair 70), Wilson A. Subs not used: Haywood & Dixon

AFC Mansfield: White, Wilson, Dudley, Hannigan, Allott (c), Naylor J, Brewin (Naylor D 77), Cotton, Wood (Whitman 70), Mitchell, Ghaichem. Subs not used: Ward, Buxton & Lamplough.

Referee: Mr Paul Tomes (South Yorkshire)