Promotion hopes back on track after away win

Ollie Fearon, right, scored twice for AFC Mansfield.
Ollie Fearon, right, scored twice for AFC Mansfield.

Rudy Funk labelled his side “absolutely terrific” following AFC Mansfield’s 4-0 victory at Staveley Miners’ Welfare.

It kept them fifth in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division and was the perfect response to a midweek 3-2 defeat against promotion rivals, Pontefract Collieries.

Speaking after his team’s impressive display, Funk said: “I think we have been absolutely terrific.

“The lads did the club proud.”

Goalscorers Craig Mitchell, substitute Lynton Karkach and Oliver Fearonhelped sweep aside the Trojans.

The Bulls closed the gap on leaders Pickering Town and second-placed Pontefract Collieries, who drew and lost home matches respectively.

“They had a spell of pressure with about six, seven or maybe even more corners, but we did the right things and got an early goal,” said Funk.

That came in the sixth minute when Connor Smythe’s free-kick was met by Mitchell’s header for his third goal in four games.

Resilient defending from the visitors kept out the home side before the Bulls doubled their advantage in the 18th minute.

Fearon was denied by Staveley keeper Matty Leese, but smashed home the rebound.

At the interval Funk underlined to the players that you win nothing at half-time.

Fearon’s audacious back heel made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute and when Mitchell was pulled down 12 minutes later, Karkach, who had been on the pitch for less than a minute, converted the penalty.