Pre-Season Friendly

AFC Mansfield

Slone (37)

Hednesford Town

Elliott (22), B.Wells (39), K. Wells (45), Abadaki (57), (84), Reid (65), Scott (73)

(1) 1

(3) 7



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Osebi Abadki




Barry Town United (A) 3.8.19

The Pitmen's goal-laden pre-season schedule continues unabated this evening, as they plundered seven more goals to take their pre-season tally to thirty-four scored in eight games by over-powering AFC Mansfield

The Pitmen arrived at a wet Forest Town Arena off the back of a 5-1 win over Heanor Town at the weekend. Manager Gary Hayward - who returned to the dugout after a spell out unwell - made a couple of changes to the side that had started at Heanor, bringing in Charlie Gatter and Kieran Morris in place of Ben O'Hanlon and Louis Ezewele as the Pitmen were stretched to the limit without the services of Sam Griffiths, James Hurst and Danny Glover once more

AFC Mansfield - who beat the Pitmen in the F.A. Trophy last season - have had a tough time of it since the two sides crossed paths back in October, with a regular turnover of players and managers coming and going at the Forest Town Arena during the 2018-2019 campaign. The Bulls had also suffered demotion from step four in their first season at the level after their ground failed to meet the criteria required to remain there, meaning they will be starting the new season back in the Northern Counties East Premier Division under new manager Matt Chatfield, who replaced Hednesford assistant manager Mark Ward as the Bulls' manager earlier in the summer

The Pitmen were looking for goals from the off on the heavy pitch, with former Mansfield man Brad Wells striking the outside of the post in the fifth minute after patient build-up play from the Pitmen down the right saw the striker cut inside before unleashing a shot that clipped the far post before going out of play

Mansfield countered with a couple of set-pieces in the eighth minute, culminating in Nicky Darker heading a corner kick high over Daniel Platt's crossbar after rising highest at the far post

The Wells brothers linked up once again to create a chance against their former side on thirteen minutes, as Brad swung in a cross from the right wing that Kieran flicked just wide of the far post

Kieran Wells rose highest once more on sixteen minutes, this time heading into the grateful arms of Mansfield keeper Hugo Warhurst after Charlie Gatter's deep cross had found the striker just six yards out

The Pitmen were playing well, knocking the ball around with confidence and finally stole into the lead midway through the first-half through midfielder Tom Elliott; a fine slide-rule pass from Kristian Scott found Elliott, who turned well inside the Mansfield penalty area to create the opening, allowing him to fire past Warhurst from twelve yards out with a finely-taken goal

Mansfield almost mustered an immediate response to going behind on twenty-four minutes, as Ross Duggan's low drive from an angle brought out a fine one-handed save from Daniel Platt in the Hednesford goal

Warhurst was forced into a fine save to deny Elliott on the Hal-hour mark, playing the midfielder's fierce shot away from goal at his near post to deny the former Nuneaton man a second goal of the night

A piece of magic from Joey Evans saw him create an opening for Gatter on thirty-three minutes as he jinked his way across the penalty area and laid the ball into the path of the defender, whose shot was high, wide and not at all handsome

Mansfield found themselves back on level terms four minutes later, as a low cross from right-back Jordan Annable decided the Hednesford defence and reached the onrushing Tom Slone, who did enough to turn the ball past Platt at the far post

However, that was as good as it got for the hosts, as the Pitmen struck straight back to lead once more on thirty-nine minutes; Jack Hallahan stood up a cross to the far post, where Brad Wells was on hand to loop a header over the head of Warhurst and find the far bottom corner of the net to add to his impressive pre-season tally

The other Wells brother was also on the hunt for goals against his former club, with Kieran adding to the Pitmen's tally just before half-time as he took advantage of Mansfield failing to clear their lines to fire into the net from close-range following a low cross from Gatter

The Pitmen made a triple change at half-time, bringing Louis Ezewele, Izak Reid and Osebi Abadaki on in place of Gatter, Morris and Brad Wells respectively

It was Abadaki - wasteful in front of goal in recent games - who added to the tally on fifty-seven minutes, picking up the ball on the edge of the Mansfield penalty area before neatly side-stepping a challenge and firing past Warhurst

Duggan went close for the hosts with fifteen minutes remaining, as his low drive from the edge of the Hednesford penalty area drifted just wide of Platt's right-hand post

Abadaki had looked lively and creative since coming on, forcing a unorthodox save from Warhurst at his near post on eighty minutes with an angled drive from just outside the Mansfield penalty area

The scoring was complete with a seventh Hednesford goal on eighty-four minutes, as Brad Wells - back on in place of Kieran Wells - cleverly flicked the ball into the path of Abadaki, who finished well from twelve yards out to score the Pitmen's thirty-fourth goal of the pre-season programme

There was stil time for Warhurst to make a fine save on his line to deny Ezewele a late goal to add to the Pitmen's goal tally, but the way side can be please with another clinical display in front of goal against another team of limited quality. A much bigger test ends the Pitmen's pre-season schedule, as they trvale to Jenner Park for the first time ever to face Welsh Premier League side Barry Town United 

AFC Mansfield: Warhurst, Annable, Potter, Mitchell, Lucas, Hough, Buxton, Darker, Duggan, Warwick, Slone     Subs Unused: Walker, McMillan, Jumma, Webster, Corder, Rigley

Hednesford Town: Platt, Gatter (Ezewele 45), Curley, Bailey ©, Morris (Reid 45), Scott, Hallahan, Evans, K. Wells (B. Wells 79), Elliott, B. Wells (Abadaki 45)      Subs Unused: Reid, Abadaki, Ezewele

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