COLCHESTER United boss Steve Ball felt a point was the very least his side deserved after they struck late to draw 1-1 at Mansfield Town.

The U’s needed a well-taken 85th-minute equaliser from substitute Luke Norris to earn them a draw in their League Two clash, at the One Call Stadium.

Nicky Maynard had given the Stags a 67th-minute lead but the introduction of four substitutes – for the first time in a league game for the U’s – and a switch to a more attacking shape, paid dividends for the visitors.

Ball said: “I think we’ll take the point in the end.

“I thought we dominated possession and in the first half, we had a great chance with Noah Chilvers.

“I thought we looked good on the ball and looked good in possession.

“It was a bit of a freak goal to concede but I thought we really got to grips with it in the last 20 minutes and we deserved the point.

“Nos (Luke Norris) showed composure to lift it over the keeper.

“We went with a 3-4-3 which was quite an aggressive shape, with Cohen (Bramall) has left-sided centre-half.

“It left it open a little bit but what really impressed me was that they really retreated after that and even after we scored, there was only one team going to win it.

“We went for it and we just want to do that this year.

“We want to come away from home and be a real threat and if we’re losing a game, really go for it and try to not only pick up a point up but go and get the three.

“There’s disappointment because we feel that we should be winning games but having been here a long time, you win your home games and you pick up your away points.”

Colchester moved up to sixth spot in the table with the draw while Mansfield have now gone six unbeaten in all competitions.

The Stags have enjoyed a resurgence under newly-appointed boss Nigel Clough, as they move away from the foot of the table.

Ball added: “Nigel (Clough) has got them going here and they’re a much-changed team, in terms of picking up results.

“You can certainly see the confidence in them in terms of their organisation and work for each other.

“But I do believe we were the better side over the 90 minutes.

“They went with a flat four and they dropped George Lapslie a bit deeper – they’ve got some quick players and some quality players and a fit edge to them.

“But I thought we popped it really well and created some really good chances – we should have won the game.”