AFC Mansfield plough ahead after settling on new winning formula

After successive NCEL Premier Division wins in five days, AFC manager Phil Buxton believes the Bulls have finally discovered their best line up and formation.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:51 am
Lynton Karkach - goal and back on form after being dropped.

A 1-0 home win over Handsworth on Tuesday was followed by a 2-0 success against visiting Silsden on Saturday and Buxton said: “We have stuck with a formation I think now works for us.

“We've spent a few weeks looking at different players in different positions and different formations. But I think we have stuck with the formation we are going to go forward with.

“Unity has been good. The changing room has got to be together or you won't go anywhere – it's as simple as that. The lads are working for each other and training hard together and it's a good group. I can't really complain at all. It just needs to keep going.”

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Goals from Jack Gibbs and Lynton Karkach sealed the points on Saturday and Buxton said: “I was really pleased. The lads really dug in.

“We spoke about there being grit and determination on Tuesday night but today there was grit and determination and a little bit of quality on the ball.

“In patches we played very well and thoroughly deserved to win the game.”

Karkach grabbed the second goal and Buxton said: “I think dropping him for a couple of weeks on the bounce has actually done him a world of good.

“No player is just going to come and start. I said that at the start of the season. You have got to play for me and the badge.

“Maybe he wasn't doing that, but I think in the last two games he has been outstanding, led that line really well and deserved his goal today.”

There was also a league debut for young midfielder Liam Mays and Buxton said: “Everyone around the club knows Liam is a very good player and he is someone I have been itching to start.

“I had him in the U21s last season and he has really impressed me.

“He's been injured since the start of the season or we'd have probably seen a lot more of him, but he has come in today and really taken his chance.

"You saw the applause when I brought him off, even from the lads. I thought he was outstanding.”

AFC are due to host a visit from Bottesford on Tuesday night and on Saturday head to Barton Town.