The Bulls were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline for the 2nd week in a row. Harrogate Railway Athletic were the victors in a game that had little to cheer the sparse crowd on a very cold day.

James Cullingworth puts one in the box

Even the news that Manager Rudy Funk has extended his stay for another 2 years couldn’t raise the temperature on a very dour and uninspiring game.

Rudy signs for 2 more years

Jon D’Laryea limped out of the action after just 14 minutes to be replaced by Danny Patterson. Both teams huffed and puffed trying to get a foothold in the game and both sides could not stop straying offside in their attempts.

Harrogate squandered a good chance on 25 minutes when David Brown found Stephen Bromley at the far post but his effort was always going high and wide.

With nothing much happening on the pitch it was going to take a mistake to generate a goal and that came on 39 minutes. Paul Beesley collected the ball on the right-hand side of the box but rather than close him down the AFC defenders backed off. This gave him time to pick out Bromley whose initial effort was blocked on the line. Fortuitously the ball landed back at the striker’s feet and this time he made no mistake to put the visitors in front.

The home side came out in a much more determined mood and it would be fair to say that they dominated possession. Unfortunately, at times it was laboured and without any real quality in the final ball.

Callum Robinson skimmed the bar with a powerful shot on 69 minutes and minutes later Lynton Karkach beat Leon Wrigglesworth to a long ball to head towards the goal from the edge of the box only to see it go a foot wide of the post. Jimmy Ghaichem then tried his luck from 25 yards but his low drive was always going wide of the mark.

A big strong appeal for a penalty as Fearon is struck in the face in the Harrogate 6 yard box, with the referee either unsighted or just choosing to ignore the incident which would have resulted in a red card.

One moment of quality with 5 minutes to go from Ollie Fearon picking the ball up outside the box, turning and unleashing a low drive that had Wrigglesworth beaten but came crashing back off the post before being hooked away from danger.

Lynton Karkach in action

A draw would have been the least the home side deserved, but credit to Harrogate who dug deep and left with 3 hard fought points. The game will be instantly forgotten and both sides will hope for better performances in the weeks to come.

AFC Mansfield: White, Plummer, Annable, Allott, Cheeseman, D’Laryea (Patterson 14), Paling (Wilson 65), Cullingworth, Fearon, Karkach, Ghaichem. Subs not used: Naylor, Wright & Timons.

Harrogate: Wrigglesworth, Lees, Fisher, Baravelli, Denton ©, Morris, Robinson, Barrett (Kidd), Brown (Riley), Beesley, Bromley(Hansen). Subs Not Used: Sharrocks & Ledger

Referee: Mr Edward Cook (Notts.)

Assistants: Mr Rob Whittaker (Leics.) & Mr Ruebyn Ricardo (Leics.)

Attendance: 55

MoM: Ollie Fearon

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