Market Rasen Town Under 16s’ punishing schedule of seven games in two weeks began with at home to league leaders Welton Bombers on Wednesday evening.
Rasen went at Welton from the off and let the visitors know they weren’t going to have things all their own way.
The pressure looked to have paid off midway through the half when Dan Bailey raced clear and smashed the ball home, but was surprisingly called back by the referee’s offside decision.
The hosts kept the pressure on and Bailey had two more first-half chances, only see both bobble wide.
But five minutes before half-time Welton broke quickly down the left, leaving the Rasen defence behind before cutting inside and slotting the opening goal.
Town attacked the visitors straight from the restart, and Bailey and Eric Blair both had shots blocked by both keeper and defence.
But against the run of play Welton made it 2-0. An attack seemed to be going nowhere until a 25-yard strike from their midfielder rocketed into the top right corner of the Rasen net.
The home side didn’t drop their work rate, and again pressed the visitors.
And they were finally rewarded after some lovely passing down the left. The final ball fell to Bailey who blasted home for 2-1.
Rasen kept looking for the equaliser and went close from two corners with Will Furminger’s header tipped over the bar before Ryan Carr headed just wide.
Welton also looked to add a third, but were thwarted by some excellent saves and a man-of-the-match performance from keeper James Kirk.
Still Rasen attacked, sending more shots goalwards, but Welton’s defence and keeper blocked and stopped everything to hang on for the win.
Rasen ended the game empty-handed, but not for a lack of effort after a very good team performance.