Dear hits last-gasp goal as Bulls end 2017 on top

Cameron Dear
Cameron Dear

AFC Mansfield’s management team acknowledged their luck as a last-gasp winner stole all three points in a 3-2 victory against Hemsworth Miners’ Welfare.

Substitute Cameron Dear capped off the drama at the Forest Town Arena as he won the game in the third minute of added time.

Hemsworth twice levelled but it proved to be meaningless as they were unable to convert an abundance of first-half chances – while the Bulls dispatched their handful of opportunities.

A week earlier the Bulls won 5-1 at Hemsworth to stay top of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

AFC manager Rudy Funk said: “While it may have been a smash-and-grab I’m so pleased for the lads.”

Connor Smythe opened the scoring on 13 minutes with a sublime free-kick that found the top corner from 25 yards.

The Wells equalised in the 56th minute after their skipper, Stefan Holt, snuck in at the back post to head home.

Nick Guest poked home a minute later to restore the Bulls’ advantage before the visitors equalised for a second time through Bradley Dockerty on 70 minutes.

Both sides pushed for a winner at the Forest Town Arena and the breakthrough for the hosts came after Phil Buxton was fouled on the edge of the area.

Smythe seemingly shaped-up his second effort at goal but instead he slid the ball past Hemsworth’s six-man wall and into the feet of Dear, who drilled the ball into the far corner.