Bulls drop vital points in title chase at Selby

Action from Selby v AFC Mansfield. Photo by Peter Craggs.
Action from Selby v AFC Mansfield. Photo by Peter Craggs.

AFC Mansfield dropped two valuable points at Selby Town on Saturday as the promotion race begins to warm up.

It was a bright start to the game for The Bulls and after just eight minutes they went in front.

A Ryan Williams corner was only half cleared with the ball dropping to Luke Jeffs 25 yards out. The defender rifled the ball into the left hand corner of the net with keeper Cieron Gibson hardly moving.

Against the run of play Selby were level after 20 minutes. A free-kick from the right landed at the feet of captain Dane Mortimer. He took a touch and then fired past Jason White.

Jimmy Ghaichem’s cross come shot was saved at the second attempt by Gibson on 35 minutes and just before the break Craig Mitchell’s drive was headed off the line.

Daniel Gray should have put the home side in front early in the second-half after getting on the end of a long clearance from Gibson. However, with just White to beat he fired wide of the mark from 12 yards.

The Bulls continued to knock on the door, captain Chris Timons headeing over the bar from a Jeffs free-kick on 70 minutes.

As if to emphasise their ability to break the home side took the lead on 71 minutes, Gray firing into the roof of the net after a cross from the right was missed by 3 defenders.

This spurred the visitors on and Williams fired inches wide after a poor clearance from Gibson.

A big moment in the game came when the ball was played into the box for Jake Park. A defender back headed the ball but keeper Gibson was already committed and he dealt a glancing blow to the head of Park. After seemingly pointing to the spot the referee then changed his mind and gave a free-kick inches outside the box and more importantly only booked Gibson for the late dangerous challenge.

Some sense of justice was restored when Williams hit a superb free-kick that went in off the underside of the bar.

AFC Mansfield poured forward now looking for a winner and Mitchell had a goalbound effort blocked and Williams had another on target effort tipped away by Gibson.

Both sides had late claims for a penalty turned down but ultimately the points would be shared.

AFC Mansfield: White, Paling, Jeffs, Allott, Timons (c), Naylor, Williams R, Buxton (Park 71), Patterson, Mitchell, Ghaichem.

Subs not used: Williams D, O’Malley, Sowter, Spencer.