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REPORT | Athersley Recreation 1-1 Bulls

The Bulls' winless streak in the league continues as they were held to a frustrating draw by bottom side Athersley.

Jack Warner finally put Matt Chatfield's outfit ahead towards the end of the first half, but the Bulls were made to pay for more missed chances as Shane Kelsey's leveller was enough to earn the Penquins a point.

Jordan Annable should have edged AFC in front after just two minutes of play, but he headed Jack Warner's precise left-sided cross wide from close range.

It was almost another ten minutes before a shot on target would be registered, as Warner drove low but straight into the arms of Ross Pritchard.

Athersley had their first effort on target not long after, as a defensive mishap allowed Kai Hancock through on goal but debutant Dylan Parkin was there to steer his effort wide.

But AFC continued to have the better of the opening stages, and a good spell of possession saw Luke Waker head over not long after Pritchard's palms were stung by a powerful Ross Duggan drive.

Brett Lucas was next to be presented with an aerial chance, but he could only head towards the wrong side of Pritchard's near post.

Midway through the first period Ross Duggan, on 17 for this season, fancied a go from 18 yards out but went unrewarded as his curling effort flew inches wide.

Whilst AFC searched strongly for an opener, Athersley fancied themselves on the break and should have bagged only their eighth league goal of the season on more than one occasion when two of Hancock's point-blank headers flashed wide.

With those numerous headed chances going amiss, one of the shortest men on the pitch was the one to finally take one, as Jack Warner headed Tom Slone's floating cross beyond the reach of Pritchard.

Leading goalscorer Duggan had AFC's first chance of the second half, skying over from 12 yards out after Buxton's low-taken corner was dummied nicely by Annable.

But failing to take chances came at a cost once again for Matt Chatfield's side, who conceded only Arthersley's eighth league goal of the season, as Parkin did terrifically well to deny Shane Kelsey from close range but was powerless in preventing the midfielder rounding the new AFC 'keeper and firing home at a second attempt.

Strong hands from Ross Pritchard down the other end kept the scores level only a few minutes later, as he tipped a powerful effort from Duggan away from danger.

With ten minutes remaining, AFC were left scratching their heads after Pritchard somehow stopped Warner one-on-one and frustration began to set in.

As the final moments played out the game became more and more heated with all still to play for, but a battling Penguins side were good value for only their fourth point of the campaign.

The Bulls will take a break from league football next weekend, welcoming Hanley Town to the Forest Town Arena for a Buildbase FA Vase encounter.



Final score | Athersley Recreation 1-1 AFC Mansfield

Scorers | Kelsey (64') - Warner (39')

Athersley Rec XI | Pritchard (GK), Briscoe (Rollinson 71'), Clements, Sanderson, Kelsey (Purcell 79'), White (C), Moxon, Walker, Garside, Hancock (Hutchinson 84'), Salmons

Unused subs | Holroyd

Yellow cards | Briscoe (52'), White (87')

Bulls XI | Parkin (GK), Annable, Darker, McGuire, Lucas, Hough, Warner, Buxton (C), Duggan, Walker, Slone (Stacey 74')

Unused subs | Corder, Webster, Potter, Stancliffe (GK)

Yellow cards | Slone (53')

Man of the Match | Jack Warner

Attendance | TBC


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