With injuries and suspensions galore Manager Rudy Funk handed a debut to 18 year old Jake Nicholson and the youngster repaid the faith by opening the scoring for The Bulls.

Jake Nicholson

Without Fearon, Allott, Madin, Wilson and Williams AFC Mansfield had to regroup with Lynton Karkach 19, starting up front and Nicholson wide right. Another teenager Jordan Annable started at right back as the Mansfield side took on a more youthful look. The bench was filled with the walking wounded and Jimmy Ghaichem started the match but was unlikely to finish it.

The game started cautiously with neither side getting a foothold in the game, in fact the first real chance didn’t come until 15 minutes had been played. Holwell captain Chris Hibbitt blasted his effort over the bar.

AFC Mansfield responded and Jimmy Ghaichem’s run and shot was deflected for a corner on 23 minutes. But the game never really took off and it limped to half time without either side threatening a goal.

Jimmy Ghaichem in full flight

Ghaichem had given his team a vital 45 minutes but was clearly beginning to struggle and was replaced by Danny Naylor. The change paid dividends almost immediately. Jason White took a free kick in his own half on 47 minutes and lifted into the Holwell box. Chris Timons won the header and the ball looped to the back post where debutant Nicholson volleyed home from 6 yards.

Lynton Karkach fired into the side netting on 60 minutes after good work from Gary Bradshaw.

Goalscorer Gary Bradshaw

AFC Mansfield doubled their lead 5 minutes later, Bradshaw challenged in midfield the ball falling to Naylor who quickly gave it back to Bradshaw. The striker looked up and from 25 yards hit an unstoppable drive that flew into the top right hand corner of the net with keeper Jamie Witham a mere spectator.

Bradshaw tried again on 71 minutes a carbon copy of his goal but this time the effort was well wide of the target.

Anything Holwell had to offer going forward was starting to bounce off the brick wall defence of Plummer, Dudley, Timons and Annable.

Karkach raced clear on 84 minutes, rounded the keeper but his shot cannoned back off the post from a tight angle. Holwell did have a couple of opportunities in the dying minutes but failed to pull the trigger and the danger was cleared.

We are winning 2-0 lads!!! Smile.

Into the next round and with some local sides through as well it could make for an interesting draw at noon on Monday.

Holwell Sports: Witham, Foster, Chiavetta, Bitmead, Woodcock, Stevenson, Harris, Hibbitt (C), Wells, Hammond, Chapman (Tinsley 75). Subs not used: Cropper, Fontoura, Hazeldine, Williams T.

AFC Mansfield: White, Annable, Dudley, Plummer, Timons (C), D’Laryea, Nichol;son, Patterson, Karkach, Bradshaw, Ghaichem (Naylor 45). Subs not used: Lorimer, Wright, Wilson & Williams R.

Referee: Mr Simon Kavanagh

Att: 65

MoM: Matty Plummer

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