Loddon have home cup advantage

LODDON United's Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final match against King's Lynn Reserves has been switched to George Lane, Loddon, after the Linnets' home ground The Walks was made unavailable due to a first team fixture.

LODDON United's Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final match against King's Lynn Reserves has been switched to George Lane, Loddon, after the Linnets' home ground The Walks was made unavailable due to a first team fixture.

Kick-off will now be 1.45pm tomorrow with Loddon, sixth in the Anglian Combination Premier Division only five points off the leaders with three games in hand, looking to cause an upset against their Ridgeons Premier visitors.

Should there be a need for a replay, it will take place on Wednesday, January 7, at Lynn, 7.45pm ko.

Sprowston Athletic 1, Loddon United 2

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IN view of other results, this was a great, albeit slightly fortunate, away win for Loddon for whom substitute Josh Gunton rose majestically to head home a last-minute winner.

Loddon had the majority of early possession only for Sprowston to break through in the fifth minute. A cross from deep was deflected high by Andersen and over Collins and onto the bar. It fell to a home forward who fired home.

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They could have soon made it two when a neat move and cross from the right ended with a shot wide.

Athletic dominated the next 10 minutes or so until a free-kick by Way was headed on by Gary Summons to Brown, who tested the keeper with a shot on the turn. Brown had another chance from a pass by Baylis and the keeper came outside the box to head away - but Brown could not find the target when off balance.

From a quick free-kick, Gary Summons found Wright who laid off to Andersen. His cross was cleared only as far as Gary Summons on the edge of the box and he cleverly volleyed over the keeper for 1-1.

The next 15 minutes was even with Wright managing a scuffed shot after good work by Hancock, and Way, Shipley and Ricky Summons clearing well at the back.

Loddon took control of the remaining 10 minutes. Andersen had a free-kick charged down, Wright had a shot blocked, retrieved possession and crossed to Battisson whose header failed to beat the home keeper. Shipley won a difficult header, Hancock crossed, and again Battisson went close with a header.

Sprowston went straight on the offensive down the hill but found the back four, with the Summons in front of them, a tough barrier to break.

Shipley was even spotted in the left back position as his winger tried to find space. With 20 minutes of the half gone, Loddon saw a 25-yard Brown free-kick go off target, their first shot of the second period.

A great stretch by Baylis and tackle by Way foiled the next home attack and Shipley calmly headed back to Collins. Battisson called and Andersen delivered a lovely curling pass but Sprowston just cleared.

On 22 minutes Oliver came on for Brown and three minutes later Gunton replaced Hancock. Battisson had another header wide from a great Gary Summons cross before the latter crossed again. Gunton challenged and Baylis attempted a bicycle kick.

Sprowston pushed for the winner and Loddon's defence had to make some desperate clearances and blocks, but still Collins was not really tested. Ricky Summons was closing opposition down and tackling as if his life depended on it.

Gunton did well on the right to help Shipley but could not reach the return pass and Andersen made a superbly-timed tackle on the edge of the box to thwart Sprowston. The back line was finally breached but Collins went down to shut out the chance and conceded a corner. Loddon survived and went down the other end where Andersen and Wright won a corner.

It was fired into the far post, the keeper missed it and Gunton rose to head home and provide the perfect Christmas present for the Loddon contingent.

Battisson's performance up front made him a close contender, but Musker McIntyre man of the match goes to skipper Ricky Summons for his leadership in the middle.

Team: Collins; Shipley, Way, Baylis, Andersen R, Hancock, Summons G, Summons R, Wright, Brown, Battisson. Subs: Gunton, Oliver.

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