Hemsworth halted as AFC Mansfield extend lead

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AFC Mansfield put in a professional performance to further extend their lead at the top of Toolsport NCEL Division One with a 2-0 win at previously undefeated Hemsworth Miners Welfare.

Goals from Joe Cheeseman and Phil Buxton in the first half sealed the victory in front of a crowd of 92.

It was the home side that had the better of the early exchanges.

After just six minutes a goalmouth scramble led to three shots on goal being blocked by AFC defenders as Hemsworth looked more likely to score first.

On 18 minutes Billy Law had his effort from 12 yards saved by Jason White after the former Scarborough striker had got in behind the visitors’ back line.

The Bulls gradually forced their way into the game and on 37 minutes Ryan Williams delivered the perfect free kick into the box for Joe Cheeseman.

The centre half glanced his header past the outstretched arms of Chris Snaith in the home goal and the visitors had made the breakthrough.

AFC Mansfield doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when a Jimmy Ghaichem cross from the right took a deflection that saw it spinning towards the far post. Phil Buxton was quickest to react, stabbing the ball home off the post.

Hemsworth could rightly feel aggrieved as they had enjoyed the lion’s share of the play but couldn’t finish.

The second half was a totally different affair. The Bulls tightened up at the back and, testament to the superb performance from the back four, Hemsworth didn’t have a decent shot on goal.

The visitors did suffer an early setback when central defender Grant Allott limped off with an ankle injury, but club captain Chris Timons made an ideal replacement and slotted seamlessly into the back line.

Right back Perry Marriott made some great runs forward in the first half and left back Adon Spencer did the same in the second, both players forcing saves out of Snaith.

There was some good action inside both boxes but no real chances to add to the goals in the first half.

So the Bulls hold on to top spot with the increasingly impressive Bottesford Town hot on their heels.

HEMSWORTH MW: Snaith, Wilson A, Clark, Swift, Viggars, Steer, Connolly (Hayward 82), Yates, Blair, Law, Jones (Pugh 61). Subs not used: Thompson.

AFC MANSFIELD: White, Marriott, Spencer, Allott (Timons 49), Cheeseman, Naylor, Williams, Buxton, Rick (Haslam 82), Mitchell, Ghaichem. Subs not used: Wilson, Hartshorn, Brewin.

REFEREE: Sam Wright of South Yorkshire.

ATTENDANCE: 92.

BULLS MAN OF THE MATCH: Perry Marriott.