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Battling Loddon break Bungay hearts with a deserved draw

PUBLISHED: 11:57 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:57 29 March 2017

Both sides defended well on Saturday when Bungay entertained local rivals Loddon to a 1-1 draw. Picture: Shaun Cole.

Both sides defended well on Saturday when Bungay entertained local rivals Loddon to a 1-1 draw. Picture: Shaun Cole.

Archant

Saturday proved a frustrating afternoon for the promotion-chasing Black Dogs as they were held to a draw by neighbours Loddon.

Needing every point, Bungay took the lead only to be pegged back, and though they had greater possession in the second half, it was only fine goalkeeping from Jimmy Bligh which prevented the visitors getting a surprise win.

Bligh made the first save from a header following a corner, and when Bungay broke Aiden Lowe was unable to get the right touch to a Craig Hunting free-kick.

But they took the lead in the 19th minute as Dom Mirner floated in a corner. Hunting went up with a defender and the ball broke to John Riches to poke home from close range.

Generally though their play was disjointed, and Loddon were level in the 31st minute. It came from a corner by Summons. Matt Ayre rose for the initial header which was defended and he fired in the loose ball left-footed into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

Soon after Riches hooked an effort off the line following a Loddon corner, and Bligh dived to make a fine one-handed save as the defence stood still. From the corner he palmed a goalbound effort over the bar. As Loddon finished the half strongly, the keeper dived again to turn a low shot round the post.

Josh Knights had a good chance for Bungay early in the second half after a good run by Lowe, but his effort was well off target.

As Bungay dominated for much of the second half Riches had another shot cleared off the line, and a low cross from sub Luke Spear was cut out in the nick of time.

But Loddon finished strongly and in added time Ayre had a great chance only for Bligh to make a reflex save from his close-range shot, and the striker put another good chance over the bar.

Loddon saw some top performances, not least from Henery at the back and Dunning and Evans in midfield, but Musker McIntyre man of the match went to Matt Ayre for a great all-round performance and a goal.

Bungay: Bligh, Olley, Hunting, Whiteman, Jones (Clay), Mirner (Spear), J Riches, Daniels, Solomon, Knights, (Wilby), Lowe.

Loddon: Avery, Hancock, Henery, Baylis, Jermy, Evans, Dunning, Parkin, Summons, Rose, Ayre. Subs: Shipley.

Tomorrow Bungay visit leaders Bradenham at 2.30pm.

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