Who would have thought that West Bridgford’s 7-2 victory away at Blaby and Whetstone last Saturday could be eclipsed – well, it was.
The 3rd Round of the Notts Senior Cup held no terrors for the home side despite facing the formidable AFC Mansfield who fielded a side with a number of former football league players in their starting eleven.
As one would expect Mansfield fielded a physically strong side and set off strongly however timely tackles from Dave Erentz, Jonathan Ventrella and keeper Sam Clark’s safe handling set the home sides defensive tone.
Gradually West Bridgford got into gear with Aaron Large and Tim Hopkinson probing. It then came as no surprise when in the 15th minute with a free flowing move down the right saw a Hopkinson cross expertly headed home by the on-rushing full back Dave Erentz. 1-0 (Bridgford)
Back came AFC Mansfield with strike partners Gary Bradshaw & Lynton Karkach lively for the visitors. Sam Clark punched away an effort from captain Danny Patterson and then saved well at the feet of Karkach.
Then at the other end a great move involving the outstanding Jake Richardson and Aaron Large saw the latter’s header cleared off the line. On the 31st minute the home side doubled their lead when veteran midfielder Tom Coole shaped to cross from the left hand side but bullet-ed an unstoppable shot past a startled AFC Mansfield keeper Jason White. 2-0 (Bridgford)
HT 2-0 (Bridgford)
A half time blitz talk from ex Scarborough Town and now AFC Mansfield manager Rudi Funk galvanized his team into action as they fought themselves back into the game. The inevitable happened when in the 60th minute Danny Naylor reduced the arrears with a lovely side foot finish. 2-1 (Bridgford)
AFC Mansfield continued to press but found the Bridgford defence undaunted with center half Pat Newsome having a man of the match performance.
Both sides made substitutions as AFC Mansfield went searching for an equaliser – substitutes Jurgen Charlesworth and Ryan Plummer both had good late chances. The last few minutes saw the visitors throw everything into attack with the opposition keeper Jason White joining in for a succession of corners.
The West Bridgford players celebrated respectfully at the end of the game with joint managers Chris Marks & Stuart Robinson continuing to show why they are so highly regarded as young managers and further enhancing their already growing reputation.
FT 2-1 (Bridgford)
Man Of The Match: Pat Newsome
West Bridgford Joint Manger Stuart Robinson was pleased at the end, ‘its a terrific night for everyone involved at the club, its the first year we’ve been in the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup and to get to the quarter final and also beat a team a league above is a great achievement. AFC Mansfield are a very good side and in the second half caused us problems with their direct approach, however we dealt with it well, weathered the storm and saw it through to the end’.