Saturday 31 July 2021
The Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division
Staveley MW 0 – 1 AFC Mansfield
Manager Phil Buxton tasted victory in his first competitive game in charge as Bulls got off to the perfect start to the season with a 1-0 away win against Staveley MW. A 9th minute Kian Sketchley goal proved to be the winner in a keenly contested game.
Buxton said after the game “It is always nice to get off to a winning start and especially against a side who will be challenging for honours at the end of the season. I thought the players attitude and work rate were excellent today and they thoroughly deserved the win”.
Jason White was called into action on 6 minutes to save superbly from Cameron Foulkes header.
AFC Mansfield took the lead on 9 minutes when Kacper Rajter sent Lynton Karkach clear down the left flank. The striker looked up and played the ball across the box to Kian Sketchley who fired home from 10 yards.
Goalscorer: Kian Sketchley
The visitors were enjoying the lions share of possession and were surprisingly taking to the artificial pitch far better than the home side.
Luke Walker saw his 35-yard free kick turned around the post by Rio Alberry after 26 minutes and Sam King heads the resultant corner over the bar.
Staveley’s Tucker Poole saw his low drive go wide of the upright on 27 minutes.
Another great cross from Karkach sees Walker fire agonisingly wide on the far post on 33 minutes. Karkach then gets on the end of a Jack Gibb cross but his header is well wide of the mark.
Dan Howe for the home side finds space down the left cuts inside and fires a low drive which White turns around the post for a corner. The ball eventually scrambled away by Sam King.
Mitchell Langton’s 30-yard free kick curls around the wall but is narrowly wide of the post on 44 minutes.
It was no surprise that Staveley came out for the 2nd half with renewed intent. A cross from 40 yards delivered into the box found a Staveley head in a crowded area but the effort was always going wide after just 4 minutes of the restart.
55 minutes more pressure from Staveley as Poole’s cross is palmed away by White and then hooked away for a corner by Gibb.
Karkach had a chance to double The Bulls lead 12 minutes from time when he raced clear only to see his stinging drive saved by Alberry. 2 minutes later he again wriggled clear only to see lobbed 30-yard effort beat the keeper but drift wide of the far post.
In summary The Bulls dominated the 1st half and took a deserved lead. Staveley came back strongly in the 2nd half but lacked the clinical finishing to get back into it and the visitors arguably had the chances to make the win more comfortable.
Staveley MW: Alberry, Bell, Oglesby, Lindley (c), Eades, Foulkes, Poole, Langton (Parkin 80), Howe, Boocock (Gibbons 65), Webster (Tansley 65). Subs not used: Jones & Worrall.
AFC Mansfield: White, Gibb (Dudley 62), Rajter, Slone, King (c), Cropper, Appiah (Hobson 62), D’Laryea, Walker, Karkach (Noon 85), Sketchley. Subs not used: Hough & Pipes.
Referee: Joshua Drake (S&H FA)
Assistants: Clare Thompson (S&H FA) & Carl Gibson (S&H FA)
Man of the Match: Sam King
Sam King receives the MoM award from AFC Mansfield Director Mike Abbs.