Late goals seal derby win for Beccles
Beccles Town 4, Loddon United 1BECCLES left it late with three goals in the last 10 minutes but in the end won comfortably enough in their first home league game of the season against near neighbours Loddon.
Beccles Town 4, Loddon United 1
BECCLES left it late with three goals in the last 10 minutes but in the end won comfortably enough in their first home league game of the season against near neighbours Loddon.
Beccles were hoping for another successful campaign following last season's Suffolk Senior Cup success.
With influential midfielder Matt Roddins injured, this meant a re-forming of the centre midfield with new signing Paul Heaney and a start wide on the right for Kevin Waterman.
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The first half opened with Beccles quickly grabbing the initiative. Wide men Waterman and Alex Holmes were soon seeing plenty of the ball and were using it to great effect.
Beccles for the first 10 minutes offered more in way of attack, but found Durrant, in the heart of Loddon's defence, in resistant form.
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Up front, Beccles' attacking duo of Alan Remblance and Ant Martin were causing all sorts of problems for a stretched Loddon defence.
Both front men had good chances with excellent crosses from the outstanding Holmes but were unable to convert.
It took Loddon 10 minutes to conjure a decent attack and a six-man move ended when Hancock's cross was cleared.
Marjoribanks then challenged the keeper for a high ball and won a corner from which Andersen went close. Ayton was also close to connecting to an Andersen cross.
Ayton chased a seemingly lost cause, got the ball across and Marjoribanks flicked it just wide of the near post to end a decent spell for the visitors.
From a free-kick, Collins and Durrant cleared a goal chance. Further crosses from the Beccles left were cleared as Town regained the upper hand.
Squires and Baylis combined to give Marjoribanks a chance but the flag went up as the ball found the net.
Beccles then stepped up the pace and created several chances, many via crosses from the left. Baylis mistimed his jump to head a Summons free-kick wide.
However just before half-time the deadlock was broken, and from a predictable source. Waterman did very well on the right to send in a low ball and last season's top scorer Alan Remblance gleefully smashed the ball home for his season's opener.
Loddon responded with an Ayton drive cleared off the line and a Marjoribanks effort tamely wide. Half time: 1-0.
Loddon made the perfect start to the second half. Hancock's superb movement in the box gave him space to meet Summons' corner with a bullet header to level inside the first minute.
Hancock then provided two crosses from the right which were cleared, but Town responded with a series of corners.
The goal rocked Beccles back on their heels and the home rearguard had to be on their mettle as Loddon perhaps felt there was something in the game for them.
From a clearance Loddon nearly sprung a surprise. With the keeper off his line, Summons picked up a loose ball and attempted a quick first-time shot from 45 yards but the effort was just wide.
Summons and Hancock provide another chance for Marjoribanks who miss-hit it wide. Another good move saw Ayton pick up a chest-down from Marjoribanks but his cross was beyond the stretching Greehalf. With 20 minutes left Ayton made way for Brown and five minutes later Greenhalf suffered a dead leg and was replaced by Matthews.
Slowly but surely however Beccles accelerated through the gears to take control again.
Holmes on the left was testing his full back with his direct running, however with the game approaching the last 10 minutes Beccles still had nothing to show for their endeavours.
Then with 81 minutes on the clock Holmes slung over another cross and Remblance reacted quicker than his marker to steer the ball in at the far post for his and Beccles' second.
If Ant Martin was playing second fiddle to his partner, he wasn't showing it as the manager introduced Tom Roberts. With his first touch crossed for Martin to open his season's account with a firm header. Then in a gathering gloom Martin scored the goal of the game with a mazy dribble through the centre and a crisp shot into the corner of the net to make the final score 4-1.
A little harsh on Loddon, who battled hard, but nevertheless a true reflection of the constant pressure Beccles put the visitors under.
Loddon's Musker McIntyre man of the match for keeping his head when all around were losing theirs was Richard Durrant.
Beccles play host to a double header tomorrow, the first team play Wroxham Reserves at 2pm and the Reserves line-up against Fakenham Reserves at 4pm.
On Tuesday night, Loddon visit North Walsham (7.30pm ko).