Sleaford Town U18s spoil perfect record of champions-elect

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Sleaford Town Boys produced an heroic performance to end the 100 per cent record of Under 18s Lincs League champions-elect Ruston Sports.

Seeking revenge against the same opponents from last time out, Sleaford Boys took the game to their older counterparts straight from the first whistle.

But it was Rustons who drew first blood after only five minutes when Joe Parker scored with a superbly-struck free-kick which left the keeper totally helpless.

The Sleaford Boys hadn’t read the script, however, and instead of rolling over they picked themselves up, brushed themselves down and went about their task with greater determination.

Chances were scarce as both teams fought hard to gain the upper hand, but with half-time looming, Rustons cause wasn’t helped when they were reduced to 10 men courtesy of a red card.

Now dominating possession, Sleaford Boys were knocking loudly on the door of Ruston’s rearguard, but with the disadvantage in numbers the visitors set up to protect their lead.

Gradually, Sleaford began making serious inroads around the Rustons defence and with 14 minutes left they gained the reward their play had deserved.

Neat interplay between Kyle Blair and Lewis Russell found Owen Park outside the area and his instinctive lob beat the outstretched hand of the keeper’s despairing dive to draw the teams level at 1-1.

Sensing victory was possible, Town applied more and more pressure, but Rustons showed the resilience of champions to fend off the Green Army through to the final whistle and share the spoils.

The draw means Sleaford Boys have now taken points off every team in the league this season and remain second, but the disappointment of not taking all three points against the league leaders was testament to the progress of this young team.