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Chatfield praises "class" defending in Penistone draw

The gaffer had plenty to be happy with after AFC held Penistone Church to a draw despite having a man less for an entire half.

Bulls boss Matt Chatfield said after the draw that there was disappointment despite the result, adding that his side would have deserved all three points if they held on.

After riding out an early period of dominance from the NCEL Premier Division leaders, Ross Duggan laced Phil Buxton's inch-perfect square pass into the far corner to give AFC a crucial lead, but a straight red card for Jamie McGuire just seven minutes later gave the hosts an unwanted complication at half-time.

Church then pressed hard in the second half for a leveller and left it late to snatch a point in the 88th minute, whilst both Ross Duggan and Grant Ryan could have put the result beyond doubt only moments before.

The red card, Matt Chatfield admitted, made matters a lot more difficult against one of the league's best sides.

"It was a stupid decision from one of our most experienced players," he told Bulls TV in frustration after the 1-1 draw, "we then had to defend for our lives for 50 minutes to hold out.

"It's disappointing to have conceded late on, but credit to the lads - they threw their bodies on the line.

"To be fair to Penistone, in the last 25 minutes they had more of the ball, they had loads of shots, but the defending from our lads was just class today, blocking everything.

"Before the game you'd probably take a 1-1 draw against top of the league, but I think we're a bit gutted that we haven't come away with all three points - I think that's probably what we deserved."

Amongst the spirited back four was teenage full-back Brad Mears, who provided an impressive shift despite being thrown in at the deep end: "It's another young lad in what we're trying to achieve.

"What we want is young players that want to be here and to play for the club; it's not all about money, and he's a prime example of that, so I can't wait to get him really working hard with us."

After a week of three pleasing performances with results to go with them, the gaffer said that he is "excited" to go again on Tuesday when the Bulls host Silsden at the Forest Town Arena.

"We're starting to get that wind behind our sails and we can't wait for Tuesday.

"We need these games to keep coming, because at the moment we're in a different kind of rut where we just can't seem to lose.

"We've done really well in those two cup competitions, but now we need to get points on the board."


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