Managerless Teversal came from 2-0 down to beat promoted local rivals AFC Mansfield 3-2 with a late goal in a true game of two halves in an NCEL Division One thriller on Saturday.
It whetted the appetite for a rematch between the clubs this Saturday when they clash at AFC in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase (3pm) at Forest Town Stadium.
Teversal went into Saturday’s first ever local derby with AFC Mansfield well and truly the underdogs with no wins, only a point on the board and another defeat could see them potentially drop to bottom of the table.
The Bulls on the other hand arrived knowing a win could move them up to top spot in their inaugural season at Step 6 of the National League system, so even at this early stage in the season this game took on a major significance for each club.
The game opened in a good open style with no real goalmouth action with Dean Rick for AFC twice getting in behind the home defence, but failing to time his run to beat the offside trap.
For Tevie the nearest they came was when Dickinson, Harris and Adcock combined down their right with the latter curling an effort to beat Saxby in the visitors’ goal, but also clearing the bar.
The game was frustratingly becoming a stop-start affair, with Parkes becoming the first of a quartet Teversal players to be booked and can count himself unlucky to pick up a yellow card after coming out with the ball in a 50-50 challenge with Joe Naylor for which the referee awarded a free kick to the visitors. The card was unlucky because it was for apparently kicking the ball away when making the pass after winning what looked like a legitimate challenge.
Midway through the first half the deadlock was broken by AFC when Haslam had the time and space to deliver a cross that invited Rick to fire home from six yards at the second attempt. Initially the striker was denied by a superb Brooks save. However, as the luck is going for the Tevie Boys right now, the ball rebounded back to the ace marksman to fire home at the second attempt after 23 minutes.
The Bulls had what turned out to be their best spell of the game but failed to create the chances their dominance deserved, and the nearest they came to doubling the lead was a wayward Kimberley cross that had Brooks happy to tip on the bar and then collect at the second attempt.
The second goal did arrive, though, on 33 minutes when Kimberley drilled in a corner delivery that invited Joe Naylor to powerfully head home past the stranded Brooks from eight yards out.
Teversal showed some true grit and determination to keep the now rampant Bulls at bay with Staniforth and Schofield superbly marshalling the back line to keep the score at 2-0 at half-time.
If the hosts were going to have any impact on this game they were going to have to make an impression of their own and the sooner the better.
So Scott Simpson, who took charge of his troops for the first team since taking on the Tevie caretaker manager role, must have been delighted by the response to his half-time rally call when within the opening minute Ludlow’s rash challenge on Harris saw the referee with no option but to point to the penalty spot. Blake Vincent stepped up to calmly fire past Saxby to half the deficit on 46 minutes.
The goal certainly lifted the hosts with both Adcock and Pursglove having efforts from distance that saw Saxby happy to just watch them going wide of the target.
Around the hour mark, and with the hosts now having the better of the possession, Jason Dawson and Dave Cockerill were brought on to bring a freshness to the Tevie front line, and it was something that added to the growing pressure on the Bulls rearguard.
AFC had an opportunity to restore their two goal advantage when Kimberley delivered an excellent-inch perfect cross to Rick, who was again denied by Brooks, but this time the striker didn’t get a second chance.
Teversal’s never-say-die attitude finally paid off when Vincent sent in a corner that saw Mark Parkes rise to powerfully head home past all the players between him and the back of the net to make it 2-2 in the 89th minute.
The drama wasn’t finished and in added on time Teversal claimed a priceless three points when Vincent delivered a free kick into the AFC 18 yard penalty where Dave Cockerill held off the attention of the visitors’ defence to position himself perfectly to head the ball past the full stretch dive of Saxby to make it 3-2 in time added on.
With little to no time to play, AFC didn’t have the time to pull this one back around.
The game had been a typical local derby, played in competitive style with no bars held in what would go down in the classic category.
The only negative was a red card shown to AFC’s Phil Buxton after the final whistle for protesting his views that there was a foul by Cockerill when scoring the winner.
Next up for the Tevie Boys is a trip to Penistone Church for the second time in two weeks, this time it is in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One tomorrow (Wednesday, 7.45pm).
TEVERSAL: Ryan Brooks, Mark Parkes, Blake Vincent, Paul Staniforth, Jordan Schofield, Brad Cox, Adi Harris (Jason Dawson 62), Sean Dickinson, Oli Wood (Dave Cockerill 58), Jimmy Adcock, Callum Pursglove (Greg Tobin 80). Subs not used: Luke Fisher, Andy Hauton.
AFC MANSFIELD: Gavin Saxby, Phil Buxton, Declan Brewin, Kyle Ludlow, Chris Timons, Ashley Kitchen, Danny Naylor, Joe Naylor, Dean Rick, Carl Haslam, Adam Kimberley. Subs not used: Brad Wilson, Khyle Sargent, Callum Green, Thomas Pereira, Liam Bacon.
REFEREE: Matthew Bacon of South Yorkshire. ATTENDANCE: 114.
TEVERSAL MAN OF MATCH: Jordan Schofield, AFC MANSFIELD: Adam Kimberley.