Bulls bring up century of goals to beat Eccleshill

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AFC Mansfield hit their 100th league goal of the season to overcome a dogged Eccleshill United 2-0 on Saturday.

The Bulls have now succeeded in scoring 100 league goals in each of the four seasons they have been in existence, keeper Jason White recording his 14th clean sheet of the season on Saturday too.

In a hugely frustrating first-half The Bulls squandered a bagful of chances as they looked to maintain their promotion push.

But second-half goals from Phil Buxton and Grant Allott finally rewarded the home side in a match they dominated throughout.

The first 15 minutes of the game saw no chances on goal from either side and at times resembled a practice match. Danny Naylor for the home side finally registered an attempt, even though it was a rather tame effort that hardly troubled Eccleshill keeper Joe Stead.

The chances then came at regular intervals but were decreasingly accurate in their execution.

Craig Mitchell set up Buxton whose turn and shot was saved by Stead on 20 minutes. Allott then headed over from a Ryan Williams corner and Williams lifted his 25-yard free-kick well over the bar on 35 minutes.

Mitchell then fired wide of the mark before the final chance came back to Naylor on 42 minutes, again wide of the target.

The second-half started much the same as the first, plenty of possession from the Bulls but no real end product.

The deadlock was finally broken just before the hour mark. A Jimmy Ghaichem corner found Buxton on the far post and his drive crossed the line before being hooked away by Marcus Harper and the eagle-eyed assistant referee immediately signalled for a goal.

In fairness to Eccleshill they tried to take the game to the home side but rarely troubled White in what was probably his easiest clean sheet of the season.

Jake Park dispossessed Harper down the right flank and delivered a bouncing cross that Mitchell stretched for but could not get a clean connection and the effort went wide.

Five minutes from the end and AFC Mansfield doubled their lead when Allott met Park’s cross and headed home from six yards.

AFC Mansfield: White, Paling, Jeffs, Allott, Timons (c), Naylor, R Williams R (D Williams 86), Buxton (O’Malley 85), Patterson, Mitchell, Ghaichem (Park 71).

Subs not used: Rick, Sowter.

Att: 63

MOTM: Phil Buxton