Confident AFC Mansfield march on in NCEL League Cup

AFC Mansfield's Craig Mitchell (yellow shirt)
AFC Mansfield's Craig Mitchell (yellow shirt)

AFC Mansfield booked their place in the fourth round of the NCEL League Cup after a confident 2-0 display against Barton Town.

Goals from striker Craig Mitchell and centre-back Brad Peace-McDonald ensured the Bulls earned their third victory of the season over the Swans. This marked AFC’s 25th victory of the season.

Rudy Funk made five changes from the league victory against Bottesford Town just three days prior, and the two aforementioned players provided the goods on a chilly Tuesday evening.

The opening goal came on the stroke of half time, minutes after Connor Smythe had spurned a certain goal from close range.

The would-be goalscorer then turned provider for Mitchell, as a darting run down the left flank concluded with a pinpoint delivery onto the head of his teammate.

Peace-McDonald doubled the Bulls’ lead on the hour-mark with a carbon copy to the opener. This time it was Jimmy Ghaichem’s accurate delivery that was turned in with an unmissable header.

Barton thought they had pulled a goal back in the 89th minute, but after Jason White somehow clawed the ball away from the goal line it became apparent that assistant referee Darren Dillings had raised his flag for offside.

Extinguishing any chance of a late comeback, Funk’s side could breathe a huge sigh of relief as they were victorious in a cup competition at the third time of asking.

Defeats earlier in the season to Hinckley AFC and Teversal had been somewhat avenged at the Forest Town Arena.