Bulls fight back to earn Trophy replay

Action from Saturday's game against AFC Mansfield and Clipstone.'Phil Buxton's celebration after opening the scoring for Mansfield.
Action from Saturday's game against AFC Mansfield and Clipstone.'Phil Buxton's celebration after opening the scoring for Mansfield.

AFC Mansfield boss Rudy Funk was delighted as an exceptional second-half performance helped the 10-man Bulls fight back from a goal down to force an FA Trophy replay at Hednesford Town.

“It was the best game we have played this season, not footballing-wise but in terms of physicality and battle,” Funk said.

“It was wonderful to see. We thoroughly deserved the draw.”

Hednesford, who play a division higher in the Northern Premier League, are due to host the replay on Tuesday night.

“We proved we can compete with the likes of Hednesford and for every player it was again a massive learning curve,” added Funk.

“Today was the first time since we arrived in the Evo-Stik League that they have really expressed themselves in the way I want to see them play.”

Hednesford took an early lead when Sam Griffiths emphatically headed home a fifth-minute corner.

Phil Buxton levelled 13 minutes into the second period, heading a Brad Wells cross into the top corner.

Jimmy Ghaichem went close to winning the tie for the home side, but he dragged a one-on-one effort wide.

Hednesford might have restored their lead when Lewis Archer struck the bar.

Bulls defender Jack Broadhead received a second yellow card late on, but the home side hung on to earn a replay.

AFC MANSFIELD XI: White, Marsden, Dudley, D’Laryea, Annable, Broadhead, Ghaichem, Buxton, K. Wells, Lindley, B. Wells. Unused subs: Guest, Dear, Wall, Burton, Dawes.