Harborough Town 0-1 Melton Foxes U17s

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Newly-promoted Mowbray Rangers Pumas EMN-150809-194439002
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A lone Shaun Smith strike on the hour mark proved enough for Melton Foxes to win their opening Division One fixture at Harborough Town.

With Alex Kotarba, Cameron Ainge, Adam Lauchlan and Alex Horobin brought into the line-up, Melton took a little time to settle, but still looked the more dangerous side early on.

Cameron Ainge’s superb run and cross was met by Cameron Steans who glanced his header past the keeper, but narrowly wide. And from the next corner centre-back Adam Lauchlan’s downward header from Steans’ cross bounced over the bar.

Alex Horobin broke down the left and his cross flashed across the face of goal before Ainge repeated the move on the right seconds later and again the cross flashed across goal with no-one on hand to add the finishing touch.

Horobin’s fierce free-kick just cleared the bar, but Harborough sprang into life as skipper Joe Nickolls and Lauchlan were forced to deal with two dangerous crosses.

Smith again linked up with Kotarba, but failed to find the target from a promising position.

The Foxes kept the edge after half-time, but Smith fired wide after another good move, and seconds later the striker fired into the side-netting with Steans looking a better option in front of goal.

Town hit back, but Melton’s defence coped with their spasmodic raids, and in the 60th minute the deadlock was broken.

A smart passing move on the left ended with George Wilkinson sending Smith clear and this time he fired low past the advancing keeper.

Seconds later the striker was through again and beat the keeper to a high bouncing ball, but flicked his final effort over from close range.

With time running out, Harborough threw everyone forward and a dangerous free kick forced keeper Connor McNeight into a splendid save before clearing.

Melton were still on the attack as the final whistle went to cap a solid team performance and deserved win.

Foxes: C. McNeight, L. Thorpe, J. Nickolls, A. Lauchlan, G. Wilkinson, A. Horobin, A. Walker, C. Ainge, S. Smith, A. Kotarba, C. Steans, C. Lovegrove, K. Jones.