Leaders Bulls collapse to second league defeat

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Manager Rudy Funk described AFC Mansfield’s performance as unacceptable as the runaway Northern Counties East League leaders’ 18-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt.

Funk and his assistant, Mark Ward, were critical after the 5-1 home defeat to Liversedge — only their second league loss this season.

Funk said: “The result was far from unfortunate today.

“We tried to be too cute and clever.

“It doesn’t even deserve to be (called) a bad day at the office — that performance was far from acceptable.”

Ward added: “We knew what Liversedge were going to bring, but we couldn’t exploit their weaknesses enough.

“It’s difficult to talk about a loss when you’ve been winning, but the lads know nothing is won yet.

“If we want to be successful we have to bounce back.”

The visitors produced a dominant display from the opening minutes and never seemed to look back.

Joe Walton put them ahead twice in the first half in the 16th and 39th minutes, either side of what would eventually be a consolation goal from Ollie Fearon.

Brandon Kane’s fine volley from outside the area moments after the restart found the top corner to increase Liversedge’s lead.

On 65 minutes Jacob Buchanan made it four with a tight-angle finish before substitute Bradley Davies’ deflected effort completed the scoring in the closing stages.

The Bulls return to action on Saturday at Maltby Main.