Melton Foxes U18s end superb season with final flourish

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Melton Foxes U18s came back from two goals down to force a deserved draw against high-flying Allexton and New Parks in their last match of the season.

The result ensures the Foxes will finish in either fourth or fifth place in a highly competitive Premier Division.

Manager Brent Horobin said: “We had five 16-year-olds performing and matched a very good team in all areas and could easily have run out winners with our second-half performance.

With George Wilkinson and Joe Nickolls out, Henry Murch and Cameron Steans started despite their long lay-offs with injury and illness, but Murch went off after just 20 minutes with a calf problem.

The Foxes were hit after just 10 minutes when a long ball down the middle was misjudged by centre-back Jake Dawkin and the visitors’ number 10 calmly rounded keeper Chris Lovegrove to score.

Melton missed a golden opportunity when striker Marcus Rowland rounded the keeper but fired wide, and Shaun Smith then volleyed wide.

Allexton made the Foxes pay two minutes later when a break down their left and a quick low cross was dispatched past Lovegrove from six yards.

Adam Lovegrove fired just wide from the edge of the area before Rowland’s powerful shot forced a superb save from Allexton’s keeper.

Just before half-time the Foxes reduced the arrears when Smith latched onto a through ball before rounding the keeper and netting from six yards.

After the break, Aaron Doherty had to clear off the line, but Foxes were on top with Rory Gavin, captain Alex Horobin and Rowland all going close.

Dawkins looked a certain scorer from Doherty’s free-kick, but miskicked from point-blank range, but a well-deserved equaliser arrived in the 75th minute when another corner from Adam Lomas was flicked on by Steans and Adam Lauchlan forced the ball in at the far post.

Foxes should have gone ahead soon after when Horobin won a midfield challenge and slid the ball to Rowland who fired into the side netting, and Horobin then saw his free-kick pushed onto the bar and scrambled clear.

Foxes: C. Lovegrove, R. Gavin, A. Lauchlan, A. Doherty, J. Dawkin, T. Dryell, A. Horobin, A. Lovegrove, C. Steans, H. Murch, M. Rowland, S. Smith.