Lincoln United went down 3-2 at lower league Rainworth Miners Welfare FC this afternoon with a performance they would sooner rather forget.

After their 9-1 drubbing of Collingham FC on Tuesday evening the Whites were looking forward to a second successive win but five feet seven inches tall, 16-year-old debutant keeper, Levi Owens kept them at bay with a host of excellent saves, including a Conner Robinson penalty.

Sam Wilkinson’s men started confidently and Ryan Oliver should have opened the scoring after only two minutes. His header was spectacularly saved by the young keeper.

Skipper Sean Wright was then denied from point blank range by Owens and winger Kallum Smith shot wide when he should have hit the back of the net.

Rainworth opened the scoring after 15 minutes when left full back Jordan Claxton found right full back Rob Ludlam who headed beyond Jake Turner in the United goal.

Three minutes’ later striker Danny State doubled the score for the hosts after lobbing Turner.

Jack Waddle then brought down Andy Toyne but Conner Robinson’s resultant penalty, and follow-up, were saved by keeper Owens.

On the half hour, former Whites’ winger Nathan Modest slipped the ball beyond Turner following good advantage by the referee to make it 3-0 to Rainworth.

More saves by young Owens continued as the Ashby Avenue outfit tried to pull one back.

Sam Wilkinson’s half-time talk must have been effective as his charges added much-needed spirit and skill to their game.

As a result they pulled goals back through a Toyne penalty and a Wright snapshot.

However the visitors ran out of time to snatch an equaliser but, hand on heart, that would have been unfair on Rainworth.

The main lessons to be taken into the new campaign are that chances must be converted and mistakes in defence must be cut out.

Big Sam’s men have one more pre-season friendly at Goole next Saturday to put things right.

Peter Hayward



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