Mowbray Rangers Under 13s Lions booked their place in round three of the county cup after claiming a late winner at higher league Wigston Youth on Sunday.
A cagey start to the game led to a couple of half-chances for both sides, with the visitors coming close on a couple of occasions early on as the hosts struggled to get a shot on target.
Wigston came to life as half-time approached, with stand-in goalkeeper Connor Hodges making a few excellent saves to deny the home side a half-time lead.
With the game finely poised at 0-0, Wigston started the second half very strongly and soon the stalemate was broken with a quality chipped finish over stranded goalkeeper Hodges.
With manager Clarke and coach Isherwood looking on nervously, the goal sparked the lions into a new lease of life and an onslaught soon began.
Mowbray proceeded to attack frequently with chances and corners coming regularly.
The team’s newest recruit Tallen Burt went closest, rounding the keeper but denied by some top-class defending.
With the clock ticking away Rangers’ chances of reaching the next round seemed to be fading.
But with 10 minutes left, the tie was level. A cleared corner was superbly whipped back into the box by left-back Jacob Barkworth and met by onrushing midfielder Jack York whose goalbound header was unfortunately spilled into the net by the home goalkeeper.
With debate over whether the ball had crossed the line, the referee consulted the home linesman who gave the goal, and the dream of the next round lived on.
With extra time looming and two minutes of normal time remaining, Mowbray mounted another attack.
Pacy forward Kealan Boylan broke free from the defence following a slotted ball from midfield, and raced towards goal before superbly floating the ball into the top left-hand corner to spark jubilant scenes from players and parents of the Melton club.
The Lions saw out the rest of the game and roared into the next round.
The game was played in a superb spirit and credit was given by the opposition for Mowbray’s character and desire.
They are now competing on two fronts as they continue their challenge for the league title in what could turn out to be a interesting few months for the talented young side.