Late drama as Teversal dent AFC Mansfield’s title hopes

GOAL! -- Teversal celebrate their early goal, which proved to be the matchwinner against local-derby rivals, AFC Mansfield.
GOAL! -- Teversal celebrate their early goal, which proved to be the matchwinner against local-derby rivals, AFC Mansfield.

Elated Teversal put one over local-derby rivals AFC Mansfield, whose title chances were dented in a rare defeat that was capped by a red card and a missed penalty.

Trailing 1-0 and desperately chasing an equaliser, AFC had defender Perry Marriott sent off in the 76th minute for a dangerous and reckless challenge on Brett Watson that referee Martin Chester deemed fit for a straight red.

And worse was to follow for the Bulls only four minutes later when they squandered a golden chance to salvage a point from the spot. Chester awarded the kick for a challenge by Teversal midfielder Khyle Sargent on Ryan Williams, who picked himself up to take it but saw his drilled drive brilliantly saved by home ‘keeper Dale Sheppard.

AFC went close again three minutes into injury-time when Williams’s near-post cross found Sam O’Malley, who guided an effort past Sheppard but against a post. As the ball rolled across the six-yard box, Phil Buxton could only put the rebound wide as he stretched to make contact.

However, in the end, all the late drama could not prevent only the third defeat of the season for AFC, who now trail leaders Hemsworth Miners Welfare by six points in the title race. Neither could it dampen the celebrations of mid-table Teversal, who made amends for a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture against their rivals earlier in the season when they felt they deserved to have bagged at least a point.

In front of a crowd of 136, the only goal of the game came as early as the third minute when Sargent met a Gary Armstrong corner before onrushing Jason White and glanced a header past the stranded ‘keeper. It was blocked on the line, but Jason Dawson was on hand to pick up the pieces and ram the ball home.

AFC hit back strongly, but the home defence remained focused, encouraged no doubt by a flawless man-of-the-match performance from ‘keeper Dale Sheppard, who underlined his fine form when racing out to superbly save at the feet of striker Craig Mitchell.

Two minutes later, Sheppard performed even more heroics with a top-drawer save to tip O’Malley’s effort over the bar after an inch-perfect cross by AFC’s star man of the day, Williams.

Teversal lost the energetic Dawson to a shoulder injury after a heavy challenge by veteran defender Chris Timons. But they continued to stand firm and went close to a second goal through Brad Cox.

LINE-UP -- TEVERSAL: Sheppard/ Armstrong, Staniforth, Gregory, Fisher, Sargent, Atkins (Moody 85), Watson, Cox (Weaver 83), Dawson (Guest 43), Dickinson. SUBS NOT USED: Turton, Tittley.

AFC MANSFIELD: White/ Marriott, Ghaichem (Williams D. 63), Allot, Timons, Naylor, Williams R., Buxton, O’Malley, Mitchell, Dudley. SUBS NOT USED: Wilson, Sowter, Spencer, Hartshorn.