MANAGER Carl Heeley insists there was “no finger pointing” in the dressing room after Worcester City were denied an opening-day triumph by a last-gasp Harrogate Town leveller.

And Heeley has tipped City goalkeeper Ethan Ross to bounce back after the 19-year-old made two costly errors in Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Vanarama National League North at Bromsgrove.

A double from veteran Lee Hughes looked set to give City a winning start until Ross fumbled a free-kick and Harrogate substitute Jon-Paul Pittman equalised in stoppage time.

Heeley said: “You don’t want people to make mistakes but it is part and parcel of the game and Ethan is a young lad and all you can say is for him to dust himself down.

“It’s one of those things that if he makes a mistake as a goalkeeper it normally costs a goal.

“Everyone is disappointed because we were in a winning position late in the game and it always feels cruel when you concede so late but that’s football.

“I have no doubt (that Ross will bounce back). He’s got the character – there is a lot of character in the side.

“They were all sticking together in the changing room after the game. There was no finger pointing and no blaming of anybody and that’s a great trait to have in a squad.”

City led twice against much-fancied Harrogate, who reached the play-offs last season and have bolstered their squad with experienced signings.

Former Premier League striker Lee Hughes showed his value to City with their opener from the penalty spot after his cross had struck the hand of Harrogate defender Lewis Turner.

After Hughes’ spot-kick had been cancelled out by Luke Shiels’ scrambled effort, the 40-year-old restored City’s lead with a stooping header from close-range.

And his replacement, Colby Bishop, missed a golden chance to seal the points for City when he was denied by Town goalkeeper Peter Crook in a one-on-one situation.

Heeley admitted: “We could have put it to bed and we would have got away with the late mistake.

“But that’s the way it goes and there will be no criticism from us.”

While some supporters will have viewed Harrogate’s equaliser as two points dropped by City, Heeley believed it was a point gained against “daunting” opposition.

“It was a point gained because we didn’t have any (points) at 3pm on Saturday,” said Heeley.

“Any point you win is a point gained.

“It could have been three but it wasn’t to be so we move on to the next game on Tuesday at Tamworth.

“It was a daunting opening for us so there is a lot to be positive about.

“That was the first time we had all played together and you can’t be critical of them.

“I thought the players worked incredibly hard, showed a lot of desire and their application was great. They all stuck together.”