Bulls start pre-season schedule with a win

Rudy Funk.
Rudy Funk.

AFC Mansfield’s pre-season schedule got underway with a comfortable 1-0 win over Shirebrook Town at Langwith Road.

As the club prepare to enter the realms of the Evo-Stik for the first time in their history, Rudy Funk brandished Saturday afternoon’s match as a ‘great pre-season friendly’.

Following the full-time whistle, Funk said: “It’s only pre-season. We’re not expecting the world but it was a good afternoon of football and we topped it off with a wonderful goal.

“You don’t hope for anything special but rather that the lads take on board what’s been said in the training sessions - and that showed.”

The only goal of the game was struck mid-way through the second-half after the hosts began to tire.

An unnamed trialist for the Bulls latched onto a slide-rule pass by James Matthews before feinting to cross, wrong-footing the goalkeeper and duly tucking it away at the near post.

This was the only real notable moment in the game; although another new signing, debutant Jack Steers, had a goal-bound header cleared off the line at the end of the first period.

Saturday’s action swayed more towards dusting off cobwebs, bedding in new tactics and getting minutes into the legs of the AFC players rather than the result.

Every available member of the squad earnt a minimum of 15 minutes with some getting more than others. It will be one of many chances the new additions will get to stake a claim for a first-team spot, before the competitive season begins on August 11th.