Late goal costs Loddon in basement battle

Brandon Town 4, Loddon United 3

Even with the welcome return of Richie Durrant, Loddon slipped to another defeat in a ‘six-pointer’, bottom-of-the-table clash with Brandon, losing by the odd goal of seven in a real nail-biter.

After a scrappy start, Loddon took control. On nine minutes, Chris Andersen found Brown in space. He spread wide to Hancock and his driven cross was headed home at the far post by Summons after a well-timed run.

Loddon continued to dominate and Hancock had a drive blocked and Squire shot well over. Brandon had a chance on 20 minutes when a corner was deflected just beyond the far post and Chris Andersen cleared a free header away from his post. Loddon played much the better football but their final ball was often astray.

Both sides were guilty of over-hit passes in an eagerness to get it forward. Brandon had a ‘goal’ disallowed after a push on Durrant and this spurred them on.

After good blocks by Squire and Robinson, Robin Andersen failed to clear and Town latched on and equalised.

Loddon responded well. Lovely skill was followed by a cross from Sadler which was cleared, and from Burke’s throw Squire fired over from 20 yards. Brandon hit back with a counter-attack and a shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Robinson. Summons sent in a neat cross from the left and Matt Sadler was just over with a near-post header.

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Six minutes into the second half, Town got their noses in front. A through-ball evaded Baylis, and the forward – who home supporters thought was offside – fired beyond Robinson.

Brown was booked for protesting, and within seconds a Brandon player was also booked. A neat back-heel by Summons to Brown set up Burke for a strike. Durrant got his head to the resulting corner and what looked a clear hand-ball was missed by the referee.

It seemed it was, yet again, one of those days for the luckless Loddon.

But on the hour, Chris Andersen regained possession well. Brown won a free-kick and the second attempt to cross by Robin Andersen found Summons who guided his header over the keeper to equalise.

Marjoribanks then replaced Burke for some extra fire power. Hancock made good progress down the right and set up Summons for a tame effort.

Marjoribanks headed a corner just over and had a shot well saved and Robin Andersen fired wide after a neat build-up as the rain lashed down.

Loddon by then had most of the possession, limiting Brandon to breakaways.

A couple of far-post headers reminded the visitors to be aware. Free-kicks and corners went begging and the home keeper made some effective, if unorthodox, blocks.

Loddon paid the price for not capitalising. Marjoribanks conceded a free-kick in the home area, Brandon went long, Chris Andersen tried in vain to hold the forward up, but he finished well with five minutes left to put Brandon 3–2 up.

Robinson was booked, and it got worse. Another long clearance saw Squire one-on-one with a forward. His back pass was fluffed, and Robinson ended up handling just outside his area and was shown a second yellow.

Robin Andersen took the gloves and made a great save against claims for offside. Great covering by Chris Andersen found Summons, who for once went long. A mix-up between a defender and the keeper gifted Brown a tap-in the 93rd minute to square at 3–3.

But Brandon secured a last-gasp win with a free-kick into a bottom corner of the net.

Loddon Utd: Robinson; Andersen C, Baylis, Durrant, Andersen R; Hancock, Summons G, Burke, Squire, Sadler; Brown Subs: Marjoribanks, Birtchnell.