Leading scorer launches derby thriller fightback

Ollie Fearon scored a penalty on his return to the AFC Mansfield side.
Ollie Fearon scored a penalty on his return to the AFC Mansfield side.

Two in-form sides shared four goals and the Northern Counties East League Premier Division points as fourth-placed AFC Mansfield were held 2-2 by seventh-placed visitors Rainworth Miners’ Welfare.

Two teams with contrasting styles produced a pulsating thriller full of chances.

AFC, who boast the meanest defence in the league, stretched their unbeaten league run to five matches, while the Wrens’ run of five straight wins was halted but they are unbeaten in seven.

AFC boss Rudy Funk said: “They went 2-0 up. It was same old same old — we were chasing the game yet again.

“But after we conceded the second we started to play terrific football.”

Craig Mitchell pounced on a loose ball and hit the outside of the upright in the second minute for the home side.

Nathan Modest fired in the opener on the half-hour for the visitors after one of several quick breaks.

Modest was denied a second after the break by an offisde flag, but a foul on Ross Goodwin gave Matt Sykes the chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty-spot.

The league’s joint leading scorer, Ollie Fearon, back for the Bulls after a four-match suspension, pulled one back from a 66th-minute penalty — his 23rd goal of the season.

Two minutes from time Cameron Dear was given room to cross into the box and fellow substitute Nick Guest squeezed in an equaliser.

In the closing seconds AFC might have grabbed a winner, but the ball was cleared in a goalmouth scramble.