Spot-on Bulls extend winning run to four
A stoppage time penalty winner by Matt Plummer earned AFC Mansfield a fourth successive victory as they overcame Maltby Main 2-1.
The home win, which followed a midweek cup success, left the Bulls 12th in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
All the goals came in the second half with Jon D’Laryea opening the scoring for the victorious home club.
Lynton Karkach, who is enjoying a good run of form for the Bulls, worked himself space to unleash an angled shot from 10 yards, but the visitors’ captain, Nicky Darker, made a timely block as chances came at both ends in the first half.
At the other end D’Laryea, Plummer and keeper Jason White were all tested at set pieces as Maltby bombarded the home area from set-pieces and long throws.
White, in particular, did well at several corners.
AFC Mansfield right back Brad Wilson added width to the home side’s attack as Karkach looked for him with a range of wide balls.
But after putting in several good crosses towards Ollie Fearon, Wilson limped out the the game at half-time with a pulled hamstring.
Mansfield made a lively start to the second half. Fearon crossed to Karkach, whose shot was deflected, and Fearon struck a fierce effort narrowly wide.
The striker’s speculative drive was then denied by a fine Danny Rusling save.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 58th minute when George Milner hooked the ball across the Miners’ area from the right and Fearon headed back for D’Laryea to force home from close range.
Ryan Carroll almost replied immediately, but having broken free on the right he saw his cross-cum-shot land on the roof of the net.
The visitorsequalised in the 70th minute, when Darker launched a long throw into the crowded area and Reece Wesley got the decisive touch.
Rusling pulled off two good saves in quick succession to block James Cullingworth’s thumping close-range shot and deny Fearon as the Bulls chased a winner.
Cullingworth’s dipping shot then crashed against the post.
But four minutes into stoppage time Cullingworth received the ball from substitute Ellis Wall, a midweek signing from Clipstone, and was fouled in the area. Plummer kept his cool to strike the winner from the spot.
AFC Mansfield: White, Wilson (Timons 45), Annable, Plummer, Cheeseman, D’Laryea, Milner (Wall 70), Naylor, Fearon, Karkach (Cullington 79), Ghaichem (C). Subs not used: Wright, Paling.