AFC Mansfield went to the top of Toolstation NCEL Division One table with a 2-1 victory in Wednesday night’s local derby at home to Teversal.
This local derby proved to as feisty as had been predicted.
Visitors Teversal desperately wanted to get back to winning ways having only picked up four points from their previous games.
AFC Mansfield by contrast have now taken maximum points from their last five games and have now won seven and drawn one of their opening games.
Added to this seven players in the Teversal squad were ex-AFC players and it was always bound to be a lively encounter.
The game started at a good pace and Teversal made their intentions clear from the start, giving away a few free-kicks with some full blooded challenges.
The first chance of the game came on just two minutes a Ryan Williams free-kick was turned around the post by Neil West in the visitors’ goal.
West came to the rescue on 14 minutes, this time turning a stinging shot from Craig Mitchell over the bar. From the resulting corner West was again in action blocking a chance from Dean Rick before conceding a further corner.
Another corner on 22 minutes found the head of Grant Allott, and he powered the ball past West to open the scoring.
Richard Guest could have had Teversal back on level terms on 26 minutes. His backward header looped over Jason White but crashed against the bar before White collected the loose ball.
The Bulls thought they had doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Rick fired a low drive past West from the edge of the box only to see the assistant’s flag raised for offside.
The Bulls made an early change when Jimmy Ghaichem limped off to be replaced by Declan Brewin on 38 minutes.
There were two booking in the final minutes of the half, one for each side, as the game reached boiling point.
Teversal changed tack slightly and started to play some football as they chased the game in the second half, Guest guilty on missing a couple of clear chances to get the visitors back into the game around the hour mark.
At the other end Mitchell saw his effort blocked by Jason Gregory after getting behind the Teversal defence.
Guest missed the target again on 75 minutes as Teversal pushed on in search of an equaliser.
The visitors were left to rue the missed chances when Mitchell got behind them down the right flank and fired a low driven pass into the six yard box. Dean Rick got in front of his marker and fired past West from four yards to make it 2-0.
Rick hit the sidenetting on 82 minutes after being set up by Ryan Williams.
Then Jake Park, Williams and Rick combined on 85 minutes to set up a glorious opportunity for Mitchell, but the Bulls’ top scorer blazed his 12-yard drive over the bar.
Teversal eventually pulled a goal back on 87 minutes when Brett Watson swung a leg and lifted the ball over a group of players in the AFC box from 12 yards to make it a nervous end to the game for the Bulls.
But referee Joshua Bramhall finally blew the final whistle to send AFC Mansfield to the top of the league.