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REPORT | Bulls 2-0 Staveley MW

AFC recorded their first league win in over four months in style as a Ross Duggan double in the second half secured just a third league win of the season.

The striker came off the bench with half an hour to play, tucking home a crucial spot-kick before sealing the deal in injury-time to send Staveley packing with just their second league defeat of the campaign.

There was little to discuss from the opening exchanges until Hugo Warhurst stretched to full capacity to palm Mitchell Langton's curling effort wide, before he denied Michael Burke in similar style only a couple of minutes later.

The save still left the ball in the danger zone, but Matt Wilson and Cameron Hough combined to keep out several rebound efforts.

AFC then created a key chance themselves after a slow start, but no one was in the right place to tap home Jordan Annable's perfect low cross at Myles Wright's back post.

The Bulls then grew into the game, and a ball from deep caused problems for the visitors and almost saw the hosts strike first, but Annable's strike was cleared off the line before the ball was delivered back in and Wright expertly denied Connor McMillan on the volley.

After Matt Parkin couldn't glance a back-post header home on the end of a dangerous out-swinging cross, defender Adam Lund was left scratching his head after he nodded a well-delivered corner kick over the Bulls crossbar.

AFC continued to prove a point in the second half, and with a little less power, Luke Walker's cross could have been turned home at the back post after the forward brilliantly flicked the ball over his shoulder to open up space.

In what was a scrappy period of the tie, Ross Duggan came off the bench in place of Cameron Dear, and he was presented the perfect chance to earn the Bulls a crucial lead just ten minutes later, when referee Daniel Wooley pointed to the spot for handball.

Duggan fired the ball low beyond Wright, and the Bulls were setting up an upset against the promotion-hunters.

With ten minutes to play the game could and perhaps should have been put to bed, but Gavin King could only pull wide of the near post after being set up by Nicky Darker.

The Bulls uphill battle to keep the Trojans at arm's length was made one level harder when midfielder Jamie McGuire was sent to the sin bin, after being cautioned for dissent by the referee.

As the game went two minutes into injury time, Staveley came inches away from a dramatic leveller, but Joe Pugh's near-post strike crashed off Warhurst's crossbar and out.

There were fears of a repeat of results against Penistone or Silsden, but such worries were all but forgotten in the final minute of injury time, when Duggan fired home off the far post after being laid off by team-mate Walker.

The win was AFC's first in over four months, with the last victory coming at home to Eccleshill United in late August.

The Bulls now look onto the visit of Hemsworth Miners Welfare to the Forest Town Arena in two weeks' time, hoping to continue their positive start to the new year.



Final score | AFC Mansfield 2-0 Staveley Miners Welfare

Scorers | Duggan (72' pen, 90'+3)

Bulls XI | Warhurst (GK), Annable (C), Slone, McGuire, Wilson (Harrison 56'), Hough, Walker, Darker, King, McMillan (Warner 82'), Dear (Duggan 61')

Unused subs | Webster, Saleh (GK)

Yellow cards | Annable (63'), Walker (73'), McGuire (90')

Staveley MW XI | Wright (GK), Jones (Pugh 75'), Dudley, Finlaw (C), Oglesby, Lund, Parkin, Doolan (Lindley 68'), Froggatt, Durke, Langton (Worrall 61')

Unused subs | Claxton, Watson

Yellow cards | Dudley (70')

Man of the Match | Nicky Darker

Attendance | 115


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