Two wins and two clean sheets in 4 days, it’s been a good week for AFC Mansfield. The Bulls followed up their convincing midweek 3-0 win against Bottesford Town with a very good 2-0 win away at Athersley Recreation on Saturday. Two goals in midweek and a goal today takes Ollie Fearon up to 5th in the goalscoring charts with 27 for the season.

The weather had turned again and it was a cold, cold day at Sheerien Park, Barnsley home of Athersley Rec. The home side came out firing on all cylinders and an early goal looked likely.

Jason White was in action as early as the 4th minute getting the slightest of touches to Brad Johnston’s low drive to turn it around the post. The referee signalling for a goal kick was the start of a difficult 90 minutes for the man in the middle as he increasingly enraged the home side with his decisions.

AFC Mansfield’s centre back pairing of Grant Allott and Matty Plummer dealt with everything that was thrown at them as the home side continued their early onslaught. After 20- minutes the heat went out of the home sides attacks and AFC started to get in to the game.

Debutant Geoprge Milner nearly made the perfect start for The Bulls when his rasping half volley was blocked by a defender sending it around the post for a corner on 24 minutes.

The Bulls continued to put Athersley under pressure and when Lynton Karkach delivered a quality corner kick on 34 minutes Grant Allott powered his header past Shaun Penn to put the away side in front.

Grant Allott powers home the opening goal

A couple of bookings for an off the ball incident before the break which did not meet with approval from either side and for completely different reasons. This left the game simmering nicely for the 2nd half.

Matty Plummer’s low 25-yard free kick was palmed away by Penn a few minutes into the restart, just beyond the toes of the incoming Ollie Fearon. After another period of combative football AFC Mansfield doubled their lead on 68 minutes. Fearon picked the ball up just outside the Athersley box, turned and then glided past 2 defenders before firing a low drive across the advancing Pen n and into the far corner of the net.

Ollie Fearon scores in his hometown of Barnsley

A few minutes later and Fearon headed just wide from a Brad Wilson cross. 2 minutes later Karkach saw his effort easily saved by Penn.

An excellent move on 79 minutes with Milner driving forward and playing a quick one, two with Jon D’Laryea. The ball came back to D’Laryea and Penn turned his goalbound shot around the post.

Substitute Sam Bebbington tests Jason White with a fierce drive on 81 minutes and with that the game ran its course and The Bulls earned another 3 points.

AFC Mansfield are back in action on Wednesday night in the 4th round of the NCEL Cup, with Knaresborough Town the visitors to The Forest Town Arena.

Athersley Recreation: Penn, Briscoe, White A, Welfford, Kilburn, White R, Hodgdon, Jonhston (Scargill 73), Hancock (Bebbington 80), Garside, Cawley (Fewkes 73). Subs not used: Owen & Shillitto.

AFC Mansfield: White, Wilson, Annable, Plummer, Allott, D’Laryea, Milner, Naylor, Fearon, Karkach (Paling 79), Ghaichem. Subs not used: Timons, Dudley & Wright.

Referee: Mr Ed Stapleton (Ossett)

Assistants: Mr Ricky Taylor (Dewsbury) & Mr Neil Richardson (Batley)

Attendance: 84

MoM: Matty Plummer

MoM: Matty Plummer

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