Ollie Palmer backs Mansfield Town to challenge in League Two

Mansfield Town's new boy Ollie Palmer  -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Mansfield Town's new boy Ollie Palmer -Pic by:Richard Parkes

Striker Ollie Palmer says Mansfield Town can be part of the League Two promotion race if they can find their goalscoring touch.

Mansfield drew 2-2 against Portsmouth on Saturday, but failed to turn one point into three after substitute Lindon Meikle, Martin Riley and John Dempster all wasted good chances to hit a late winner.

It is the second successive home game that newly-promoted Stags have drawn after failing to take chances to win the match.

Palmer, who is enjoying his first season as a pro footballer after signing from Havant and Waterlooville, said: “If we can find some goals then we will become a threat at this level.

“We want to be up there going for promotion and to be the best team that we can be.

“To do that we need to take our chances and make our home games count. Our home form was vital last season and it can be again this season.

“We need to start taking our chances and turning draws into wins, if we can do that then we will be right up there.

“We are a decent team and the goals will come. I am not putting any pressure on myself and have not set any goal targets, but if I managed to get to 15 goals in my first season I would be very happy.

“The second goal involved all three substitutes and shows that we have got good strength on the bench to change games when needed.

“We gave Portsmouth a run for their money and have proved we can compete against any team at this level.”

Mansfield had hit the front on 32 minutes when striker Ben Hutchinson smashed home a magnificent volley from 25 yards.

But Portsmouth fought back well and levelled when the impressive Andy Barcham drilled a sweet finish past Alan Marriott on 39 minutes.

Veteran stiker David Connolly put the visitors ahead on 43 minutes after turning home a loose ball from close range.

But Meikle, who had been on the pitch for just four minutes, levelled for Mansfield on 71 minutes after Phil Smith fumbled an Ollie Palmer knock-back into his path.

Riley blew a good chance for Mansfield on 85 minutes after failing to connect with a Chris Clements corner, before Dempster headed over the bar seconds later.

Mansfield go in search of their first home win of the season when they entertain Dagenham and Redbridge next Saturday.