Bulls charge to successive wins
AFC Mansfield completed a good week with their second win and second clean sheet in four days as they won 2-0 at Athersley Recreation.
The Bulls followed up their convincing midweek 3-0 success against Bottesford Town by claiming three more Northern Counties East League Premier Division points.
Two goals in midweek and another strike in Barnsley took Ollie Fearon’s total for the season to 27 and fifth place in the goalscoring charts.
AFC keeper Jason White was in action as early as the fourth minute, getting the slightest of touches to Brad Johnston’s low drive to turn it around the post.
The referee signalled a goal kick and went on to increasingly enrage the home side with his decisions.
Centre back pairing Grant Allott and Matty Plummer dealt with everything thrown at them as the home side continued their early onslaught.
But after 20 minutes the heat went out of the home side’s attacks and AFC started to get in to the game.
Debutant George Milner nearly made the perfect start for The Bulls when his rasping half-volley was blocked by a defender in the 24th minute.
The Bulls continued to put Athersley under pressure and when Lynton Karkach delivered a good corner 10 minutes later, Grant Allott powered his header past Shaun Penn to put the away side in front.
A couple of bookings for an off-the-ball incident before the break, which did not meet with approval from either side, left the game simmering ahead of the second half.
Matty Plummer’s low 25-yard free kick was palmed away by Penn a few minutes after the restart, just beyond the toes of the incoming Fearon.
After another period of combative football, The Bulls doubled their lead in the 68th minute. Fearon picked the ball up just outside the area, turned and glided past two defenders before firing a low drive across the advancing Penn and into the far corner.
A few minutes later Fearon headed narrowly wide from a Brad Wilson cross and Karkach’s effort was comfortably saved by Penn.
An excellent AFC move 11 minutes from time saw Milner drive forward, playing a quick one-two with Jon D’Laryea. The ball went back to D’Laryea and Penn turned his goalbound shot around the post.
Substitute Sam Bebbington tested White with a fierce drive in the 81st minute as The Bulls saw the game out.
Athersley Recreation: Penn, Briscoe, A. White, Welfford, Kilburn, R. White, Hodgdon, Johnston (Scargill 73), Hancock (Bebbington 80), Garside, Cawley (Fewkes 73). Subs not used: Owen and Shillitto.
AFC Mansfield: White, Wilson, Annable, Plummer, Allott, D’Laryea, Milner, Naylor, Fearon, Karkach (Paling 79), Ghaichem. Subs not used: Timons, Dudley and Wright.
MoM: Matty Plummer.