AFC Mansfield made it 5 wins on the bounce with a hard-fought victory over relegation threatened Armthorpe on Saturday. A 1st half header from Ollie Fearon opened the scoring and a 2nd half strike from Matty Plummer sealed the points, although Liam Radford did reduce the arrears with 13 minutes to play. With no further goals added the win pushes The Bulls up to 9th in the table.

Lynton Karkach in full flight

It was a tentative start to the game and the 1st real chance didn’t come till around the 17th minute, a low drive from Fearon which went wide of the right-hand post. Armthorpe had a great opportunity to take the lead when Darrren Mansaram broke down the left and squared the ball to Liam Radford in the box. With just Jason White to beat the striker sliced his effort well wide of the target.

The Bulls should have scored on 28 minutes, good work and cross from Fearon found Lynton Karkach on the far post. His volley crashed against the bar with Adam Stevens beaten. James Cullingworth’s follow up went inches over the bar.

Two minutes later and Stevens did well to turn Fearon’s header around the post as well as beating a rasping drive from Cullingworth away for a corner. But Fearon wasn’t to be denied and in the next attack he outjumped Stevens in the 6-yard box to head home on 34 minutes from a Cullingworth cross.

Ollie Fearon celebrates his opening goal

The teams went in with the home side holding a slender 1-0 advantage.

Chris Gowen tested White with a low drive at the start of the 2nd half with the keeper well placed to save easily.

On 54 minutes Fearon tried an overhead kick from a Ghaichem cross but the visually spectacular shot was always going wide. Matty Plummer fired over the bar from just outside the box as AFC went looking for that all important next goal.

Armthorpe keeper Stevens did well to deny Fearon saving with his legs after the striker had hit a rasping drive from the edge of the box.

The worst incident of the game came on 65 minutes Liam Olssen hacked Jimmy Ghaichem to the ground and it seemed inevitable that he would receive red. Referee Abbas Khan angered the home supporters when he only produced yellow. Justice was served when Jordan Annable delivered a free kick into the box, the ball eventually dropped to Matty Plummer who rifled the ball home from 12 yards.

Matty Plummer congratulated by the team after scoring the winning goal

Annable has been a revelation for The Bulls this season, coming straight from U18 football he has established himself as a regular 1st team player and gave a man of the match performance today. Not only has he excelled in his defensive duties but is comfortable going forward

Armthorpe were not done and broke quickly on 78 minutes the ball played into the feet of Liam Radford and he fired past the advancing White from 12 yards to reduce the arrears.

There were some dicey moments in the home box in the final minutes and at the other end Fearon had his downward header hooked off the line.

Manager Rudy Funk said after the game “Sometimes it wasn’t pretty to watch, but Armthorpe are a physical side who are battling for every point and we showed we can do the hard stuff when needed.”

A quick turnaround for The Bulls when they travel to Liversedge on Tuesday night looking to continue this winning streak.

AFC Mansfield: White, Plummer, Annable, Cheeseman, Timons (Milner 60), D’Laryea, Cullingworth, Naylor (Wall 70), Fearon, Karkach (Paling 77), Ghaichem (C). Subs not used: Rick & Sheppard.

MoM: Jordan Annable

Jordan 'JJ' Annable

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