Photo: John Hirst
TEENAGER Carl Clarkson was the late hero for Ossett United as his 87th-minute goal rescued a point at home to Marske (2-2).
Ossett twice fell behind and looked to be heading for a fifth defeat in six league games until 16-year-old Clarkson got on the end of a cross from returning winger Aiden Chippendale to earn his side a draw.
Wayne Benn has had to blood young players in recent weeks and he was very happy to see Clarkson take his chance coming off the bench.
“It’s brilliant to see the young lads being chucked on and then getting the goal to equalise, he’ll feel 10 feet tall tonight and absolutely rightly he should,” said the Ossett manager.
“Since we’ve come in, that’s what we’ve been about. We’ve had to use these young lads and bring them into the squad, and I’m delighted for Carl.
“I’m delighted with the point against tough opposition. I don’t think we started great and there were a couple of dodgy decisions in there that I think everybody can see and agree with, but great character was shown by the lads and I’m delighted for them to earn that point.
“They stuck at it in difficult circumstances. We could have felt sorry for ourselves with two decisions that went against us, but they never did.”
The first contentious decision against Ossett, who had Chippendale returning on a loan deal from Colne and defender Jake Bayram making his debut on work experience from Hull City, came after only a couple of minutes.
Goalkeeper Scott Moloney made a fingertip save and Bayram’s foot was high as he attempted to clear the rebound, with the referee awarding a penalty to Marske which Craig Goff confidently placed into the corner.
If redemption was necessary, Bayram got it in the 31st minute when he nodded Daniel Greenfield’s delivery from a short corner back across from the far post, giving top-scorer Tom Greaves a tap-in.
Chippendale went close with several efforts while Lewis Maloney struck the post for Marske as the sides went into the break level.
Ossett were very aggrieved with the goal that put the visitors back in front on the hour mark. A Marske defender won the ball with a boot at a similar height to that which gave them a penalty earlier in the game, but play was waved on and they were allowed to break with Glen Butterworth finishing.
United would have the final word though as Chippendale’s perfect free-kick delivery was tapped in at the back post by Clarkson, three minutes after coming off the bench, to give them a point.
Their trip to Ramsbottom was postponed for a second time on Tuesday night, but they will travel to fellow strugglers Kendal Town tomorrow (Saturday, kick-off 3pm) looking to extend their six-point advantage on Pickering Town, who occupy the relegation place.