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REPORT | Bulls 1-1 Penistone Church

Matt Chatfield's side ended a four-game league losing streak with a valuable point at home to league leaders Penistone in a pulsating end-to-end encounter.

A sublime Ross Duggan goal gave AFC the lead, but Jamie McGuire's straight red card provided unwanted complications for the hosts.

AFC defended superbly in the second half and even had enough chances to kill the tie, but Penistone's hard work paid off when Kieran Ryan found the leveller late on.

The visitors, perhaps expectedly, had the better of the opening exchanges, but were limited to half-chances as Cameron Simpson pulled Church's first effort on goal but could only curl wide.

Nathan Keightly then had a clear opportunity inside the penalty area, but headed a teasing cross straight at Warhurst.

In what was a fairly uneventful first half, the Bulls' first chance came from their first corner, but Nicky Darker couldn't quite connect with a near-post delivery.

Despite Penistone looking the more likely at times, AFC were the ones to taste first blood as skipper Phil Buxton fired in an inch-perfect delivery for Ross Duggan to lace home into the far bottom corner.

But just as Matt Chatfield's side were establishing their foothold, they were dealt a heavy blow when Jamie McGuire was shown a straight red card with five first-half minutes left to play.

The resultant set piece almost saw the Bulls' lead doubled when Duggan neatly found Webster on the right flank, but the winger fired straight at Max Dearnley from 20 yards.

As expected, the visitors came out controlling possession in the second half, and two quickfire chances came their way when debutant Brad Mears did well to block Andy Ring's point-blank effort before Jordan Coduri pulled the rebound wide.

Kieran Ryan then fooled the whole ground into thinking he found the leveller, but he dragged his 18-yard effort inches wide.

With red backs to the wall, Hugo Warhurst was called in to make a crucial save and turn Coduri's strike around his post when the crowd once again were convinced the scores were level.

A rare promising counter for AFC almost saw the lead double against the run of play, but Max Dearnley did brillianty to tip Duggan's low strike wide.

Duggan then wasted a huge chance to potentially put the game to bed as the Bulls top scorer and Grant Ryan had a two-on-one, but Duggan pulled the trigger too early and Dearnley was able to gather.

Another similar opportunity arose with five left to play - this time Duggan squared nicely with the goal gaping for Ryan, but he somehow fired wide.

The latter stages were the definition of end-to-end, and Penistone were left wondering how the scores weren't level as the ball dropped kindly for Coduri who too wasted a key chance and blasted off-target.

But the visitors finally found their leveller eventually, with Kieran Ryan heading home from yards out on 88 minutes.

The ten men of Mansfield held on for a valuable point, but perhaps were left disappointed that the killer goal never came.



Final score | AFC Mansfield 1-1 Penistone Church

Scorers | Duggan (38') - Ryan (88')

Bulls XI | Warhurst (GK), Mears, Slone, McGuire, Annable, Hough, Warner, Darker, Duggan (Dawson 84'), Buxton (C), Webster (Ryan 64')

Unused subs | McMillan, Stancliffe

Yellow cards | Warhurst (82')

Red cards | McGuire (45'+1)

Penistone Church XI | Dearnley (GK), Charlesworth, Simpson (Young 46'), Ellis, Johnson, Lovell, Howes (C), Coduri, Keightley (Ryan 19'), Mundy, Ring (Law 73')

Unused subs | Cadzow, Kempy

Yellow cards | Howes (66'), Lovell (79')

Man of the Match | Cameron Hough

Attendance | 75


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