Fearon bags a hat-trick for the five-star Bulls

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AFC Mansfield’s management team hailed their strikeforce following a 5-1 victory over Athersley Recreation at Sheerien Park.

After recent suspensions and dips in form, boss Rudy Funk opted for his regular forward partnership of Nick Guest and Ollie Fearon.

That paid dividends for the Bulls boss as Fearon bagged his fourth hat-trick of the season, while Guest assisted in the opener for his strike partner.

Assistant manager Mark Ward alluded to their quality in the latter third, saying: “We went with pace and we went with power.

“Some people may say it’s not pretty, but by playing to our strengths we clearly caused them problems.”

Those problems began in the second minute for the hosts as Guest took advantage of sloppy defending to tee up Fearon for the opener.

Kyle Wordsworth levelled for Athersley as he latched on to an inaccurate backpass from Connor Smythe, slotting into an empty net on 21 minutes.

Man-of-the-match Fearon gained the match ball with two more goals either side of half-time, both calmly dispatched across the keeper to give the Bulls a two-goal cushion in the 31st and 67th minute.

Cameron Dear joined the goalscoring action in the 73rd minute as he bent a sumptuous effort past Greaves before netting a back-heeled finish in added time.

Funk said: “Our two lads at the front, Guest and Fearon ran them ragged at times. I class that a five star performance.”