Bulls continue cup form with FA Vase win
AFC Mansfield put four goals past visitors Radcliffe Olympic to progress to The first round proper of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.
For once AFC Mansfield were billed as favourites for this game, although in the first few minutes the favourites tag looked unwarranted.
The first action and goal came after just two minutes. Attempting to clear a back pass, keeper Myles Wright completely missed the ball just outside his box leaving Ryan Smith an easy finish into an empty net.
Radcliffe’s lead was short lived, as following a neat passing move in the opponents’ half Gary Bradshaw sent Ollie Fearon clear. Fearon drew the keeper and then squared the ball to Ryan Williams who confidently fired home from ten yards.
Wright was again in action on five minutes when he fumbled the ball in his box letting in Scott Litchfield who was denied by a Mark Dudley goal-line clearance.
Finally, The Bulls settled and dominated possession, although Litchfield and Smith continued to look dangerous on the break.
Man of the match Bradshaw went close on nine minutes, as latching on to a superb through ball from Williams he lifted the ball over the advancing Chris Bennett but also cleared the crossbar by inches.
A minute later Fearon saw his low drive turned around the post by Bennett.
The Bulls took the lead on 36 minutes when after some sustained pressure Radcliffe half cleared the danger but the ball fell to Danny Naylor 20 yards out. The midfielder hit a superb volley that travelled about a yard off the ground and into the back of the net.
Bradshaw made it 3-1 just before the break after he had been upended by Ryan Perkins in the box, the striker sending Bennett the wrong way by drilling the ball to the keepers right from the spot.
The second-half started in a much more relaxed mode and it wasn’t until the 65th minute that a rather tame header from Litchfield was straight at Wright.
A neat passing move around the box then presented Bradshaw with a chance on the far post but his effort was a yard wide.
Bradshaw was the instigator for AFC’s fourth goal, as his drive from the edge of the box spun off the right-hand post. Williams recovered the ball and sent a peach of a cross to the far post inviting Fearon to head home, which he duly did making it 11 goals from 12 games for AFC Mansfield’s top goal-scorer.
There was still time for Radcliffe to pull one back and Litchfield did it in style with a thunderous volley from the edge of the box.
But there was to be no comeback for the Nottingham side and AFC’s name went into the hat.