AFC Mansfield boss Mark Ward pleased with improved confidence, despite late leveller

Ossett United v AFC Mansfield.'Picture Scott Merrylees
Ossett United v AFC Mansfield.'Picture Scott Merrylees

Manager Mark Ward described Saturday’s result as a “bitter pill to swallow” after his AFC Mansfield were denied a win at promotion-chasers Ossett United in injury-time.

“We did enough to win the game again,” Ward said after the 1-1 draw at Ingfield.

“We could have been 3-0 up at half-time. We scored a good goal, created a one-on-one that Ollie (Fearon) usually takes and there was a clear penalty.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow but I’m proud again because the lads gave everything.”

Ward had plenty of praise for his Bulls players, who came up against an experienced Ossett side.

“You want to test yourself and the lads stood up and gave as good as they’ve got,” added Ward. “I’m just gutted that we didn’t get all three points.

“I keep saying to the lads to keep believing, and slowly but surely I think you can see the confidence coming.”

Charlie Dawes volleyed home after Ossett failed to deal with Liam Marsden’s long throw to give AFC the lead. Fearon could have put them in a comfortable half-time position when he sliced wide.

The Bulls dealt with a second half barrage and should have finished it off when Fearon missed Keaton Ward’s lofted ball across goal.

But in the fourth of five added minutes, United skipper Alex McQuade headed home a corner to deny the Bulls.