Sunday, 5 May 2013

AFC Mansfield 0-1 Clifton All Whites

The annual CMFL "showpiece final" played at the North Street home of Alfreton Town. Unfortunately, unless you are a fan of the long ball game, this left a lot to be desired.

Hoof, hoof and more hoof - with both teams culpable, made even more apparent to me as I took in the first half on my own and was able to study the play without any distractions.

AFC have already secured the CMFL Floodlit Cup and the Notts F.A. Saturday Intermediate Cup, so were going for a treble - Clifton lost last season's final 5-2 to Dronfield Town, the team currently keeping AFC off top spot in the CML North Division.

The Impact Arena in all its splendour


Joe Meehan was playing right-back for AFC and mistimed a tackle on 21 that gave Referee Tim Walker little option other than to show a yellow card. Instead of hiding for a while to try and calm his nerves, five  minutes later Meeham made a scything challenge on Will Heath that once again gave Mr. Walker no option other than to show a second yellow followed by a red. Ricky Chambers moved to right back, while Joe Naylor slotted into the midfield, leaving Dean Rick up top on his own. The sending off made little difference to the game - with both teams seemingly content to launch the ball from the back, by-passing their respective midfields time and time again. H-T 0-0

Went to sit with Rob Waite for the second period - always good for a laugh or two and a most welcome distraction from what was happening, or rather not happening, on the pitch! Clifton were awarded a penalty mid way through the half, but a stunning save by Bulls keeper Dale Sheppard kept the scores level, much to the chagrin of Rob Gill. The penalty was struck well enough, but Sheppard stretched our a hand and palmed the drive over the bar. 

With the game entering it's death throes, and the watching 200 or so expecting another 30 minutes, Dean Rick kicked the ball out of the ground in a fit of temper. Having already been booked, Mr. Walker showed a second yellow, then a red, reducing the Bulls to nine men. 

Clifton took full advantage and poured forward in numbers. With one minute of added time played, the ball was played into the AFC area and CONNOR HARDY controlled, turned and hit a terrific shot through the arms of Sheppard, sending the rowdy Clifton following into raptures! With 6 minutes of stoppage time played, Mr. Walker finally drew proceedings to a close. F-T 0-1

Admission £3
Programme £1
Attendance 200 +

Referee Tim Walker had a decent game, but was a little quick to blow on occasion - could do with taking an extra second to see if the advantage rule could be applied. Handled the games flash-points well though, and the red cards were both merited.