Bulls boss Matt Chatfield said he couldn’t have asked for a better response to last weekend’s Bottesford defeat after his youthful side came just minutes away from a smash-and-grab win at high-flying Liversedge.
AFC produced a fine backs-to-the-wall defensive display against the league's form side, and almost snatched all three points after Ross Duggan finished off a blistering counter-attack with ten minutes to go.
But substitute Mark Simpson's back post header on the verge of injury time brought the hosts level and shared the spoils in a pulsating game of football in West Yorkshire.
"It's obviously disappointing to concede late on, but the lads were superb today," Chatfield told Bulls TV after the 1-1 draw at the Clayborn Ground.
"They did everything we asked of them. We knew it was going to be so difficult playing against Liversedge; they're free-scoring and you can see why, they play a one-dimensional style of football which is effective for them.
"The young lads especially were fantastic today, the difference from last Saturday was just chalk and cheese."
Mansfield Town loanee Kian Sketchley, 18, was just one of many youngsters who held their own against the likes of former Stags and Nottingham Forest winger Emile Sinclair.
Chatfield said the result shows a lot of maturity in such a young group of players.
"Today the result is an absolute credit to them, you can look around and see ages of 17, 18, 19 and 20 – it's just fantastic to see.
"With young Kian up against Emile Sinclair, you can tell he's doing well when the wingers had to swap sides."
There were plenty of aspects of AFC's successful game plan to be pleased with, but Duggan's late goal perhaps topped it all for the gaffer: "It's always a great feeling, scoring.
"Duggs is just on fire at the moment, he scored when you need it the most and that's what we ask for from strikers.
"There's so much more to come from the lads and they worked so hard for 90 minutes. We've had to bring three off because they couldn't run anymore, and that's what we ask of them."
Attentions turn to the NCEL League Cup fourth round on Tuesday night, when the Bulls host Rossington Main at the Forest Town Arena - the manager is keen to earn silverware after what has been a tough debut season at AFC.
"We've got one cup left now and we want to try and go all the way.
"After the Maltby win we knew we could push on because there aren't many left in it now - we're going to give it a good go."