Melton Foxes U18s ease past lowly Whitwick

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Melton Foxes proved too strong for lowly Whitwick as a brace apiece from Shaun Smith and Adam Lomas set the home side on their way to all three points at a rain-sodden All England Ground.

With keeper Chris Lovegrove’s late withdrawal, Rory Gavin took over in goal with young Tom Dryell filling in well, while Aaron Doherty returned and injured George Wilkinson filled in as substitute.

Joe Nickolls sent Smith through, but his shot was saved by the keeper who then did well to keep out Marcus Rowlands’ rebound.

Rowlands then crossed for Smith who saw another shot parried, and only for Lomas’ follow-up was also saved.

Foxes did get themselves in front after nine minutes when Lomas curled in a corner from the left which eluded everyone and ended up in the net.

Five minutes later Rowlands broke down the left and crossed to Doherty who fired wide before defender Jake Dawkins thumped a 40-yarder against the bar.

Foxes went further ahead in the 25th minute when Lomas volleyed in Cameron Ainge’s cross.

The Foxes were well on top and notched a third on the half-hour when Dawkins’ free-kick saw Alex Horobin win two mid-air duels before planting a left-foot volley into the net.

Before the break, Dawkins, Smith and Horobin all had chances to extend their lead, but the fourth arrived nine minutes into the second half in bizarre fashion.

A Whitwick goalkick was headed back by Horobin and a defender calmly lobbed the ball over his own keeper.

Doherty had a shot well saved and Smith missed the follow-up before Whitwick got themselves on the scoresheet when keeper Rory Gavin got in a tangle with his full-back Dryell at a corner. The ball struck the post before hitting Gavin and rolling in.

With 10 minutes left Smith netted from close range following Lomas’ cross, and just before full-time the striker added his second with a simple finish after good work from Horobin and Lomas.

Not one of the more spectacular games, but with late changes, the Foxes were glad to add another three points to their total.

Foxes: R. Gavin, T. Dryell, J. Nickolls, J. Dawkins, A. Doherty, C. Ainge, A. Walker, A. Horobin, A. Lomas, M. Rowlands, S. Smith, G. Wilkinson.