Match Report: Athersley Recreation (H)

AFC Mansfield grasped a last-minute winner to clinch a crucial three points over the NCEL Premier Division's bottom side, Athersley Recreation.


Lewis Weaver was the eventual hero, tucking away from close-range to see off the ten men of Athersley.


Phil Buxton had bolstered his squad prior to kick-off with the addition of Jake Batty from Mansfield Town and Alfie Dodsworth from Worsbrough Bridge.


AFC Mansfield: Revuelta; Gibb, Sketchley, Marsden, Cropper, Slone, Batty, D'Laryea, Walker, Dodsworth, Weaver


Substitutions: Rajter, Mays, Karkach, Pipes, Scott


The Bulls were the dominant from the off, with the ball being thrashed into the back of the net by Luke Walker after Ellis Pickard spilled the original effort.


Lewis Weaver, Tom Slone and Kian Sketchley were all heavily involved with taking strikes, but none could test Pickard.


The first half would be summed up right before the break however, as Weaver had a looping header tamely caught by Pickard in goal, with a lot of chances but nothing to show of it.


Heading into the second half, the Penguins came out with ambitions of nicking an early goal, as Muhamet Gashi had a low strike parried by Adam Revuelta.


Mansfield were also looking to break the deadlock however, as Weaver had another tame header easily smothered by Pickard, before a crucial block diverted Sketchley's goalbound cross over the crossbar.


Debutant Dodsworth nearly had his name in the headlines, as Jack Gibb did excellently to pick out the attacking midfielder, but his fizzed effort was on the wrong side of the post to Mansfield's frustrations.


All the action would come in the final ten minutes however, starting off with a pivotal decision that would help alter the outcome of the game. A rash two-footed challenge from Athersley's Jack Briscoe forced the referee to dismiss the Penguin's frontman, before moments later the Bulls would nick all three points, courtesy of Weaver.


Subsititute George Scott found a yard of space in the box and forced a brilliant stop from Pickard, but he could only parry into the path of Weaver, who was composed in tucking the ball past the goalkeeper to net his first goal for the club.


AFC Mansfield are next in action next Saturday, as Buxton's men make the journey to Penistone Church.