Extra-time Vase glory as AFC Mansfield march on

NCEL Division One AFC Mansfield needed extra-time to win 3-2 and progress to the third round of the FA Vase at the expense of Midland League side Shepshed Dynamo on Saturday in a rip-roaring tie that entertained the crowd right up until the final whistle.

The Bulls made four changes to the side that won in midweek, Ash Kitchen, Chris Timons, Joe Naylor and Carl Haslam all came back into the starting line-up.

The visitors were kicking up the slope at the Dovecote Stadium and neither side could dominate the early exchanges.

AFC won their first corner on 10 minutes which came to nothing. Then on 18 minutes Carl Haslam had his first sight of goal. Racing clear of his marker, his rasping drive was palmed away by keeper Ryan Thacker and collected at the second attempt.

An inviting cross from Scott Rickards on 20 minutes saw Dean Rick stretch but just fail to connect at the far post.

Timons was in the wars, clashing heads three times during the first half, but the experienced defender never missed a challenge and was awesome throughout the game and thoroughly deserved the man of the match award.

On the half-hour mark Haslam broke clear again but this time pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Shepshed had their first shot on target after 40 minutes with Gavin Saxby getting down well at his near post to deny Brett Darby. So the half finished goalless, but there were definitely goals in the game.

And 10 minutes into the second half AFC Mansfield took the lead, somewhat controversially.

A long throw from Kitchen was only half-cleared with the ball falling to Scott Rickards, who drove the ball through a mass of players and into the net.

The linesman on the far side had his flag up and it looked as if the goal would be chalked off.

But referee Trevor Sharratt went over and had a long discussion with his assistant and overruled him and signalled for a goal. This incensed the home side and Chris Gray was booked for protesting too much.

However, the lead was short-lived as four minutes later a free kick was delivered into the AFC box and Jimmy Brooks met it with a glancing header that nestled in the back of the net.

Haslam fired wide again on 61 minutes and Saxby denied Steve Towers with another fine save a minute later.

Alvin Jarvis was booked on 77 minutes for putting the ball into the net with his hand and Ashley Grayson missed the target as the game lurched towards extra-time.

Saxby made another important save, this time denying substitute Courtney Meade in the last minute of normal time.

Shepshed took the lead five minutes into the first period of extra time. It was a route one goal when a kick from keeper Thacker eluded the AFC back line and top scorer Adam Vasey took one touch before firing past Saxby.

Again the lead was short-lived as, five minutes later, Rick made a great run into the box before shielding the ball and then laying it back into the path of Phil Buxton, who fired past Thacker to bring the scores level.

The Bulls were now in the ascendancy, taking the game to the home side in the second period of extra-time.

Despite the pressure it looked like the game was going to a replay.

But Carl Haslam had different ideas. The striker got on the end of a sweeping pass across field from Rickards, raced into the box, turned his marker and fired past Thacker with the ball hitting the far post, rolling across the line and hitting the net on the other side of the goal.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game and a minute later he nearly doubled his tally, forcing a fine save out of Thacker.

SHEPSHED DYNAMO: Thacker, Gray, Beastall, Chapman, Jarvis, Brooks, Hind, Towers, Vasey, Darby (Meade 84), Cobb (Joachim 95). Subs not used: Staniland, Bennett, Fletcher.

AFC MANSFIELD: Saxby, Wilson, Williams, Kitchen, Timons, J. Naylor (D. Naylor 112), Rickards, Buxton, Rick (Brewin 105), Haslam, Whitman (Grayson 65). Sub not used: Ludlow

REFEREE: Mr Trevor Sharratt.

ATTENDANCE: 141.

AFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Timon.

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