A brace from man of the match Craig Mitchell, a superb volley by Tristan Whitman, and a debut goal for Glyn Cotton completed a sharp, professional performance for AFC Mansfield as they won 4-1 at Selby Town in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One on Saturday.
Before the game awards were presented to Danny Naylor and Dean Rick for 100 appearances for the club and then both teams set about battling with the weather and the high winds that blew straight across the pitch at Selby.
The first chance came on 15 minutes when Tristan Whitman fed Craig Mitchell down the left. Mitchell powered his way past two defenders before curling his effort narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box.
Mitchell led the line well throughout the game and most of the Mansfield side’s moves came through him.
Five minutes later Mitchell went one better, planting a header past Rob Zand off a Kyle Ludlow cross after excellent work down the right flank from Ryan Williams and Whitman.
However, the lead was short-lived when Matt Turnbull rose unchallenged in the box to head past Jason White from a free kick.
Possibly the goal of the game came on the half-hour mark when a Ryan Williams corner driven into the box was met in spectacular style by a flying volley from Tristan Whitman that left keeper Zand stranded as AFC Mansfield retook the lead.
The Bulls could have increased their lead before the break, both Mitchell and Ludlow going close.
The second half was only six minutes old when AFC Mansfield did extend their lead.
Williams made a superb run down the right flank and found Mitchell with a clever pass. The striker took his time, picked his spot, and stroked the ball past the advancing Zand.
The final goal came on 71 minutes, and again it was Williams who provided the pass.
Another great run down the right flank saw him this time find debutant Glyn Cotton in the box. Cotton had a bit of work to do, wriggling past two defenders, but the final shot had the desired effect, beating Zand and finding the net.
Dean Rick could have made it 5-1 on 82 minutes. Sent clear by a Danny Naylor pass, his first effort was blocked by Zand but he scooped his follow-up wide of the mark.
Cotton then saw a rasping 25 yard free kick saved well by Zand and Mitchell fluffed his chance of a hat-trick as he fired wide from just 10 yards.
This was a confident display by AFC Mansfield and they will be hoping to continue this form on Wednesday night when they host Eccleshill United at the Forest Town Arena.
SELBY TOWN: Zand, Horsman, Williams (Raistrick 62), Turnbull, Evans, Mortimer, Forrester, Dickman (c) (Medcalf 21), Jackson, Muirhead, Bunch. Sub not used: Ceiply
AFC MANSFIELD: White, Dudley, Ludlow, Kitchen, Timons (c), Naylor J (Buxton 84), Williams R (Rick 78), Naylor D, Whitman (Vilums 71), Mitchell, Cotton. Subs not used: Meehan & Tighe
REFEREE: Mr Adam Smith of South Yorkshire.
BULLS MAN OF THE MATCH: Craig Mitchell.
AFC Mansfield are seeking a matchday and general physio for the first team.
A club spokesman said: “The club is forward thinking and ambitious and this could be a good opportunity for someone with the right skills. Initial contact should be made with Andy Saunders at email@example.com.”