Wirksworth Colts U16s travelled to table-topping Ilkeston FC for a Derby City League Cup quarter-final and were narrowly beaten 3-2.
Colts soon had Ilkeston on the back foot with vigorous harrying of their high-flying opponents.
They took a deserved lead when Billy Morley slammed home a free kick from 20 yards after Scott Taylor’s trickery lead to him being fouled.
Ilkeston forced their way into the game and were kept out by an outstanding point blank, one-handed save from Kyle Pearce in the Colts goal.
Colts could have gone two up when Joseph Potts bent a free kick round the wall only for the Ilkeston keeper to save at the second attempt.
Ilkeston then found themselves in the lead after a slack five minutes allowed them to score twice.
Still Colts kept at it and were unlucky not to go in level at half-time when Connor Simms struck the crossbar with a smart turn and shot from 18 yards out.
Ilkeston came out after half time like a steam train and went 3 - 1 up when Kyle Hollis fired home.
Colts would not give in and Kyle Hadfield made it 3-2 after good work from Lawrence Bostock down the right, and despite dominating the closing stages they couldn’t draw themselves level.