AFC Mansfield Begin with a Win!! AFC Mansfield 3 - 2 Liversedge

Ollie Fearon

If Carlsberg did opening league games of the season it would probably look a lot like this one. Five goals, a penalty save, a stunning free kick and chances going begging at each end. What a start to the season!

The game had a delayed start due to the visitors hitting the obligatory roadworks which seem to blight any midweek journey nowadays. Once the game started both sides had half chances in the opening 5 minutes. Vaughan Redford catching Jason White napping but firing over the bar on 10 minutes as The Bulls looked lethargic in the opening 20 minutes. Ollie Fearon swung at thin air with a chance in the visitor’s box and Steve Wales dispossessed Brad Wilson but fired wide of the mark as the game warmed up.

The game yielded its first goal on 20 minutes. Jimmy Ghaichem was upended in the middle of the pitch about 20 yards out. Ryan Williams stepped up and curled a superb free kick into the right hand corner, keeper Christian Thewlis did get a hand to it but could not deny Williams his 3rd goal in 2 games.

Two minutes later and Liversedge were awarded a penalty for a foul just inside the box. Redford stepped up and fired a low drive to Whites right hand side. The keeper got down superbly to save and then smother the ball after it came off the post.

The Bulls went further in front on 25 minutes. Again, another superb 35-yard free kick delivered into the box from Williams finding the head of Ollie Fearon and the ball nestled in the same corner as the first goal.

Liversedge pulled one back around the half hour mark when Joe Walton put a powerful downward header past White after a cross to the far post from the left flank.

White was in action again soon after denying Redford’s header at point blank range. White didn’t have to wait long to show his abilities, this time it was a save with his legs as AFC’s defence looked to be taking the night off. Another effort was cleared off the line as the visitors looked for an equaliser and definitely finished the half the stronger of the two.

Ryan Williams

AFC Mansfield came out in a much more determined mood and took the game to Liversedge at the start of the 2nd half. Both Lynton Karkach and Ollie Fearon missed the target with headers. But it was the visitors who were to score next, Rhys Davis looked to be well offside as he raced onto a through ball but the flag stayed down. Despite being forced wide by White his drive from the right side of the box found the back of the net and it was all square.

Fearon wriggled clear on 57 minutes but fired a shot straight at Thewlis. Fearon again, this time from 30 yards had Thewlis fully stretched but the ball zipped inches wide of the right hand post on the hour mark.

A big chance for Liversedge on the break, the ball pulled across the 6-yard box with Redford seeing his effort saved again at point blank range by White. At the other end Matt Plummer heads over from a Williams corner.

Man Of The Match - JASON WHITE

White to the rescue again on 65 minutes racing out of his goal to snuff out another good through ball. Immediately at the other end Gary Bradshaw saw his header go narrowly wide of the post from a Wilson cross.

Busy in the Liversedge box

The Bulls got themselves back in front and ultimately score the winning goal on 70 minutes. Good possession down the right and eventually Williams, who else, delivers a superb cross to the head of Gary Bradshaw and the striker cleverly flicks it into the bottom right hand corner much to the delight of the home fans.

Gary Bradshaw comes off the bench to grab the winning goal!!

The last real chance came with less than 10 to go, another good cross from Wilson and Fearon’s header was superbly turned around the post by Thewlis.

The final few minutes saw AFC Mansfield taking the ball into the corners for the obligatory running the clock down and eventually the whistle was blown and The Bulls had their first points in the NCEL Premier Division.

Both sides served up a banquet of attacking football, but both managers will be working on their defensive strategies after this one. The Bulls are on the road for their next two games, Harrogate Railway on Saturday and then a trip to Bottesford next Wednesday.

AFC MANSFIELD: White, Wilson, Plummer, Allott, Timons (C), D’Laryea (Naylor 71), Williams, Karkach (Bradshaw 62), Patterson, Fearon, Ghaichem (Mitchell 71). Subs not used: Wright & Dudley.

LIVERSEDGE: Thewlis, Wood, Lumb, Cromack, Brook, Jackson, (C), Davis (Mallender 70), Kane, Walton (Tazangadza 75), Redford, Wales (Rancliffe 80).

Referee: Mark Tinsley (Nottinghamshire)

Assistants: Mr Mike McGill (Nottinghamshire) & Mr Kieran Shaw (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 75

Man of the Match: Jason White

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