Leaders Loddon in woeful display
IN the previous game Loddon United produced an hour of controlled, dominating football, reassuring everyone that promotion was now in sight. However, their 2-0 defeat at Scole was woeful, nervy and totally unconvincing.
IN the previous game Loddon United produced an hour of controlled, dominating football, reassuring everyone that promotion was now in sight.
However, their 2-0 defeat at Scole was woeful, nervy and totally unconvincing.
In the first minute, Scole had a shot over and five minutes later had Loddon keeper Collins back-peddling to fingertip another shot just over.
Although Loddon had a couple of breaks, they struggled to keep the ball, and Scole's centre-backs had an easy time. Collins was nearly caught in possession, and Scole shot over again after Way and Baylis challenged each other.
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On 13 minutes Scole sent in a high cross. Collins called but failed to connect and the ball hit Ricky Summons and ended up in the net to put Scole 1-0 up.
Loddon then produced their best move so far. Andersen sent a great cross-field pass to Hancock. He laid it across the box but Brown could only win a corner.
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Scole broke again. Way did well to reach the forward, then Sadler cleared - but straight to Scole's centre-half who set up another attack.
This seemed to be the pattern of the first half, Loddon constantly giving the ball away and trying too many difficult passes and flicks.
Baylis sent in a Loddon kick from the halfway line, but Loddon had nobody capable of challenging in the air and Scole again cleared easily.
Ricky Summons, one of the few showing any worth, played in Hancock who slipped an easy ball to Wright's feet, but again the ball did not stick. Shipley picked up the loose ball and crossed to the far side, but Sadler had come near.
On 35, Loddon had a golden opportunity to equalise. Shipley played in Hancock, and Wright squared across goal for Brown to completely miss his touch in front of an empty net.
Just before the break, Loddon finally showed a little composure with Shipley, the Summons and Hancock keeping possession, but Loddon's front line again gave it away easily.
After the restart, Loddon looked a little brighter, no doubt having had an ear bashing from Creegan.
Brown connected with an Andersen cross and the keeper saved well. Shipley misjudged a high ball, Scole's No 9 collected the loose ball and chipped the advancing Collins, but fortunately it was wide.
Way set Loddon off again with a couple of good headers, Gary Summons put through Andersen and Hancock squared twice for Wright, but all to no avail. Wright had a tussle with the home keeper and soon after hit a great half-volley on the turn just over.
Twenty minutes into the half, with Loddon pressing, Scole broke, Way's weak header back did not reach Collins and Scole's No 9 nipped in to make it 2-0.
Battisson and Dan Andersen replaced Brown and Sadler, and both were soon involved in a move with Robin Andersen and Wright, but Robin's effort could only find the side netting.
An eight-pass move then ended with Shipley crossing for Battisson to head on to Wright, but the keeper gathered. Hancock had a mazy run halted by three defenders on the edge. Gary Summons' kick could not be converted.
Way sent another free-kick into the box, Battisson rose well but could get no power on the header.
Ricky Summons then had a dig after good work by Dan and a dummy by Robin Andersen, and Baylis headed a free-kick just over.
Scole played out the remaining minutes for a deserved win, but this was a worryingly ineffective performance from the league leaders with tough games to come.