Football derby ends all square

Beccles Town 1, Loddon United 1THE points were shared in this derby on Saturday at College Meadow. It must go down as two points dropped for Town as they were guilty of not taking their chances.

Beccles Town 1, Loddon United 1

THE points were shared in this derby on Saturday at College Meadow. It must go down as two points dropped for Town as they were guilty of not taking their chances. Loddon were pleased with their much better second-half performance, and felt their managers Creegan and Matthews would be happier with a point than their opposite numbers Broxup and Lees (see report on page 46).

The result left Loddon fourth in the Anglian Combinaion Premier Divsion, three points behind the leaders with a game in hand, and Beccles 12th of 16 teams.

Tomorrow Beccles must start firing as they make the long journey to Brandon Town, ko 2pm.

Beccles were still missing their two most potent attackers Remblance and Hurren. Lady Luck was against Town when they were dealt another blow as Waterman, after the warm-up, did not return for kick-off due to an ankle injury picked up the previous week.

This meant manager Broxup only had two substitutes in Ling and Lees at his disposal. Still, Broxup only had to make the one change from the side that beat Capel Plough the previous week. Impressive young Alex Holmes was given his first senior start to the delight of the home support.

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The midweek rain had really taken its toll on the pitch, which survived a mid-morning inspection.

Beccles sprang out of the traps the quickest, with both Holmes and Woods enjoying plenty of possession, taking on the two Loddon full backs and causing problems. Woods had Beccles' first chance as he was slipped through exquisitely by Day, only for Woods to draw the keeper before lashing his shot over the bar.

Loddon's attacking threat seemed to be non-existent in the first half as Majoribanks and Oliver had little to offer after being marshalled well by Barham and Wigg. Daniel Anderson on the left for Loddon looks a quality player. It was his pace and drive which threatened to create something, but the experience of McMorran kept the left back at bay.

On 25 minutes Beccles broke the deadlock through an unlikely source. They attacked only for Loddon to clear straight to the feet of Greengrass. He sent an inviting ball into the box for Nick Day to rise above the rest and place his header into the corner of the net to make the score 1-0.

Soon after Greengrass had to show his quality at the other end as he brilliantly headed off the line to deny a certain equaliser.

Peters and Wilson were controlling the midfield battle with ease, both having half chances to score. Wilson had an effort deflected agonisingly past a post and Peters created space outside the box only for his shot to be blocked well. Half time: 1-0.

Loddon came out for the second half like an express train and had Beccles under constant pressure, creating chances and forcing Cable into smart saves to keep the 1-0 scoreline intact.

On 69 minutes Loddon made their pressure count and grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Oliver beat the offside trap and latched on to a superb through ball. Cable was powerless as the striker slipped the ball under him into the back of the net.

The pitch seemed to be taking its toll on the players as the game began to get scruffy and the quality of football diminished.

Loddon still attacked and thought they had grabbed a second as Oliver had the ball in net for a second time, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Beccles made changes, replacing Woods with Ling who got straight into the action as he combined with Martin only for his shot to lack conviction. This change seemed to lift Town as they began to get a grip of the second half.

On 85 minutes Holmes had a chance to snatch all three points as he raced through one-on-one. His first effort was saved well only for the rebound to fall kindly, but his effort just went wide of the post and Loddon survived.

Missed chances cost Town again as these need to be taken if they are to be challenging at the right end of the table and in the cup competitions.

Things are looking up though as 19-goal machine Remblance returns from suspension, Waterman should recover from injury and Hurren has been given the all clear to resume playing.