Boss Ward happy as Sleaford win
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The win kept the Greens in fourth place in the UCL Premier North, still 12 points behind the leaders Loughborough Students but maintaining any lingering hopes of promotion via points-per-game basis or an inter-step play-off at the end of the campaign, should they finish second.
Akeel Francis poked hosts Sleaford into the lead just nine minutes in, before he then set up Joe Smith to superbly finish low past the goalkeeper just seven minutes later.
Heavy rain was hammering down in the early stages and after the referee had consulted both managers as to whether they were happy for the game to continue, they agreed it should and Mansfield pulled a goal back on 24 minutes when Joe Butler was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area and Ethan Hulley netted from the spot.
Numerous chances went begging for both sides before skipper Charlie Ward, making his 200th appearance for the club, powered home from Jacob Fenton’s corner on 38 minutes.
Fenton then got the fourth midway through the second-half, as his corner was floated in and crossed the line before the ball was cleared by the Mansfield defence.
That rounded off the scoring, leaving boss Tom Ward delighted after the game, and particularly with the first-half display, the result making it eight games unbeaten.
He told the club’s social media channels: “That was the plan today – we wanted to try and get the game won and rest a few faces given we’ve got some really big games coming up.
"I’m delighted the boys that got their opportunities took their chances and also that we’ve kept our run going with another win.
"We did well to get the game on today given the weather which is testament to the ground staff and the efforts they go to, which included our kit man Chris prodding the ground at half-time to make sure we could carry on!”
Sleaford return to action on Tuesday night (21st) at title-chasing Anstey Nomads, the game being played at the home of Aylestone Park, before then hosting league leaders Loughborough Students on Saturday.