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Cup final consolation as AFC Mansfield aim to end season on a high

AFC Mansfield manager Rudy Funk
AFC Mansfield manager Rudy Funk

Despite the disappointment of missing out on promotion, AFC Mansfield could still finish the season on a high after booking a place in the Toolstation NCEL Cup final.

A hard-earned 4-2 away victory over Bridlington Town last night saw Rudy Funk’s men storm into the final against Liversedge, which will take place at Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane on Monday, 21st May (7.45pm).

Trailing 1-0 at half-time and, after going ahead, pegged back to 2-2, the Bulls scored two goals in the last three minutes to seal their place, goals coming from Nick Guest (48 mins), Connor Smythe (54), Ollie Fearon (87) and Lynton Karkach (90).

Opponents Liversedge booked their place by beating visiting Handsworth Parramore 5-2.

AFC Mansfield had a week’s agonising wait to see if they would be promoted in the top two, but those hopes were dashed last weekend when rivals Pickering Town beat Hall Road Rangers 2-1 to pip them on goal difference.

Cup final opponents Liversedge, with more more game to go, can only finish 11th and currently sit 39 points adrift of the Bulls.

But they put up stern opposition in both league clashes with AFC, winning 5-1 at AFC and drawing 4-4 at home.