AFC Mansfield made it 5 unbeaten in the league against Armthorpe, but only just. The hosts belied their lowly league position by nearly taking all 3 points in the final 10 minutes but spurned 3 good chances.
The game started so brightly for The Bulls who made just one change from the side who comfortably dispatched Thackley at the weekend. Bryan Hughes came in for Danny Naylor who was working. Gary Bradshaw put them in front after just 5 minutes when a well worked move on the right flank between Matt Plummer and Jimmy Ghaichem saw the ball find Bradshaw in the box. A neat turn from the striker and his low drive zipped past Adam Stevens in the Armthorpe goal and nestled in the far corner.
Perhaps with a warning of what was to come Darren Mansaram fired an effort at Jason White on 15 minutes that was easily held by the visiting keeper.
AFC Mansfield’s passing at times was a joy to watch and the home side went long periods without touching the ball, but it all lacked the final finish. After Mansaram and Liam Radford had tried their luck it was Captain Craig Aspinall who bought the teams level. Picking the ball up 30 yards out he turned and unleashed a dipping effort that White got a touch to but the ball clipped the underside of the bar and went in.
On 48 minutes a good cross from Tom McLauglin on the left sawThe 2nd half started with Gary Collier falling inside the box under no challenge and claims for a penalty were quite rightly waved away by the referee.
Ryan Williams forced a save out of Stevens a couple of minutes later. Williams then shaved the bar from on 69 minutes but by now the away side were looking a little tired. Jimmy Ghaichem who had terrorised the home defence was caught with a bad tackle 10 minutes from time and was replaced by Lynton Karkach.
Armthorpe continued to press and in the final 10 minutes had three chances to win the game, the best coming from Steve Lyons but even that lacked the quality needed to beat White.
Armthorpe Welfare: Stevens, Bonser, Waldron, Olssen, Gibbons, Garner, Collier, Aspinall (C), Mansaram (Lyons 50), Radford, McLaughlin (Bulman 72). Subs not used: Collins, Goodwin & Williams L
AFC Mansfield: White, Plummer, Dudley, Allott, Timons (C), D’Laryea, Williams R, Hughes, Patterson, Bradshaw, Ghaichem (Karkach 80). Subs not used: Annable, Wright, Naylor & Wilson.
Referee: Mr Paul Tomes
Assistants: Mr Josh Bramall & Mr Peter Henger
MoM: Jimmy Ghaichem