New-look AFC Mansfield are pipped by late winner at Wisbech Town

New-look AFC Mansfield turned in an encouraging opening day performance, but were pipped 1-0 by a late winner at Wisbech Town in the United Counties League Premier North Division on Saturday.

Joint manager John Stancliffe said: “Obviously we were disappointed to come away with a defeat. It was a very tight game with not much goalmouth action – I think they had one shot on target and scored.

“We had a few that just whistled wide of the post. Other than that it was a game of few chances.

“Defensively I thought we were excellent – they can probably say the same. Our chances just got away.

John Stancliffe and Spencer Fearn - joint AFC Mansfield bosses.

“We know what we're about as a football club and that is developing players. Today they have given us something we can work on and learn from.

Bulls made the three hour journey to Wisbech with a squad of 16 that included 10 players making their debut at Step 5 and three 17-year-olds and three 18-year-olds.

On a very warm day, neither side created much in terms of goal scoring opportunities, and a 85th minute winner was scored by Wisbech player-manager Leon Mettam.

Liam Tomlinson came close in the final minute with a shot that whistled past the post as Bulls threw the kitchen sink at Wisbech, attempting to secure at least a point.

Overall, it was a good start performance wise against a team that played at Step 4 last season and Alex Bartholomew and Adam Bratley were awarded joint men of the match.