Landmark Fearon goal helps Bulls to top table
Delighted manager Rudy Funk was keen to praise the performance of his side after a 4-2 victory at Parkgate FC saw AFC Mansfield climb to the summit of the Northern Counties East League.
Goals from a quartet of Nick Guest, Lynton Karkach, Ollie Fearon and Cameron Dear secured all three points on a chilly Saturday afternoon for the Bulls.
That took them to the top of the Premier Division, leapfrogging Handsworth Parramore, whose big clash with Worksop Town fell victim to the weather.
Third-placed Pontefract Collieries, however, have four matches in hand and are just three points behind the new leaders.
While snow fell across many parts of the country, causing every other fixture in the division to be abandoned, this standalone match allowed Funk’s side to cruise to the top of the league.
Funk said: “At the end of the day, the desire to actually make it to the top of the league means more to me than anything.
“Apart from a 15-minute spell in the first half where we rode out luck somewhat, the lads throughout were absolutely outstanding.”
While the Bulls dominated the majority of the game, Parkgate managed to salvage two goals themselves — courtesy of a Nathan Joynes second-half brace.
Funk, reflecting on that, said: “To be fair to Parkgate, Billy Fox has come in and made a few changes.
“They are a different side now and it’s clear to see the results will follow suit.”
However, the hosts were unable to shut out the visitors as Guest opened the scoring in the eighth minute, slipping the ball under shot-stopper Jamie Housley.
Lynton Karkach then doubled the Bulls’ advantage four minutes after the interval, before Ollie Fearon netted his 30th goal of the season.
The striker’s bending effort was watched by keeper Housley all the way into the top corner on 66 minutes.
Joynes ignited a small flame of hope for the home side in the 77th minute when he tapped the ball home.
But Dear extinguished any hopes of a Parkgate fightback with a sublime effort four minutes from time.
Joynes grabbed his second with a close-range header, but it was ultimately a consolation goal as the Bulls ran out comfortable victors.
On Saturday the Bulls entertain Hall Road Rangers beforea trip to Hemsworth Miners’ Welfare two days before Christmas.