Melton Foxes U18s hold off Anstey fightback

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Melton Foxes collected their second win of the season against a talented Anstey team thanks to goals from 16-year-olds Tom Dryell and Jake Dawkins.

Melton started well and were ahead within three minutes when Dawkins’ long ball found Cameron Ainge who put Adam Lomas clear on the right. His inch-perfect low cross found Dryell at the far post to sidefoot past the keeper.

Ainge fired wide in Foxes next attack before Anstey broke out quickly and their tricky midfielder fired narrowly wide.

Two corners kept Foxes on the front foot with the visitors forced to defend doggedly.

The Foxes went further ahead after 28 minutes when Lomas drove a corner over for Dawkins to leap and head in from close range.

Anstey hit back and were gaining in confidence, but Melton’s defence held firm with Dawkins outstanding.

But two minutes before the break Anstey halved the deficit when their midfielder collected the ball on the edge of the area and jinked past two despairing tackles before beating keeper Lovegrove.

Melton hit straight back and just before half-time Ainge broke clear on the right but fired just wide.

The visitors restarted with real urgency and were soon mounting attacks, but the under-pressure back four of Lewis, Horobin, Dawkins and Doherty held firm.

A succession of free-kicks kept Anstey in the driving seat but a mixture of poor shooting and brave defending kept them out.

Melton were reduced to breakaways in the second half, but when they did Rowland, Ainge and Lomas always looked likely to create an opening only for the final pass to go astray.

But for all of Anstey’s second half supremacy, keeper Chris Lovegrove was not forced into a save thanks to the performance of the defence in front of him.

Foxes: C. Lovegrove, F. Lewis, A. Horobin, J. Dawkins, A. Doherty, A. Lomas, A. Walker, R. Gavin, T. Dryell, C. Ainge, M. Rowland, L. Thorpe.