AFC Mansfield tasted defeat for the 1st time in 8 games at 3rd placed Bridlington Town. The Bulls went down to a solitary 1st half header from Chris Jenkinson. But it was the sending off of keeper Jason White that would decide the result, playing with 10 men for 55 minutes The Bulls looked the better side for much of the 2nd half.

The visitors started the better of the two sides but Bridlington soon got into their stride and the first real chance of the game came on 9 minutes. A Brett Agnew skewed effort fell to Joel Sutton on the far post but his 6-yard effort was blocked by Jordan Annable.

White was in action on 15 minutes, getting down smartly to his right to deny Agnew. The Bulls continued to look a little lethargic and this wasn’t helped by a strong wind blowing towards their goal. On the half hour mark a knock down by Agnew was drilled well wide by Louis Kirk from the edge of the box.

Bridlington deservedly took the lead on 33 minutes, a short corner wasn’t cut out and the delivery was met by the head of Jenkinson and sailed into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later and it got worse for AFC as Jason White was shown red despite coming out collecting the ball and making none or very little contact with the onrushing Agnew. It wasn’t the 1st or last dubious decision to be made and left The Bulls a mountain to climb against a good Bridlington side.

Grant Allott put on the keeper’s gloves and when Andy Norfolk stepped up to take the penalty everybody expected it to be 2-0 and game over. Norfolk’s kick was struck well enough but down the middle and Allott superbly saved it and knocked it clear to safety.

With not so big a mountain to climb AFC started on the front foot. Lynton Karkach hit the side netting with his effort minutes into the restart.

George Milner saw his effort blocked on the line around the hour mark after Jimmy Ghaichem had sent him clear in the box.

Milner bought another save from James Hitchcock, this time dealt with easily.

On 67 minutes debutant Jamie Yates saw Hitchcock make a superb diving save from his 25 yard free kick, turning it around the post with one hand. From the resulting corner another goal bound effort blocked by a defender. Plenty of chances from a side that were quoted as not having a shot on goal by Bridlington Manager Curtis Woodhouse.

Jamie Yates

AFC were always treading a thin line and while they were pushing forward were always in danger of a breakaway. Agnew found himself clear in on goal with just Allott to beat. But the man of the match for both sides raced out of his goal and saved Agnew’s rasping drive.

Allott was in action again minutes later, Jordan Harrison and Jake Day combined to set up Joel Sutton with a gilt-edged chance to put the game to bed in added on time. But once again Allott reacting quickly to close Sutton down and another fine save from the defender cum keeper.

Right at the death AFC Mansfield nearly pinched a point when a Yates free kick found the head of Matty Plummer, his looping effort beat Hitchcock but bounced off the bar and the game was over.

AFC Mansfield dealt well with only 10 men and had a nervous looking Bridlington side on the ropes in the 2nd half. The teams meet in10 days time and it promises to be a not to be missed encounter.

Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Taylor, Lewis, McNamara, Jenkinson, Knaggs, Norfolk (Blakeston), Fleming (C), Agnew (Harrison), Kirk, Sutton. Subs not used: Bedford, Forrester & Fox.

AFC Mansfield: White, Plummer, Annable, Allott, Cheeseman, D’Laryea, Yates, Naylor, Fearon, Karkach (Milner 58), Ghaichem (C). Subs not used: Timons, Wall, Dudley & Paling.

Referee: Mr Wayne Grunnill (Hull)

Assistants: Mr Alex Sawden (Cleethorpes) & Mr Benn Cass (Grimsby)

Att: 171

MoM: Grant Allott - Both sides

MoM: Grant Allott - for both sides

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