Loddon earn spot in cup semi-finals
- Credit: Archant
Loddon eased into the semi-final of the Cyril Ballyn Cup with a convincing 4–0 win over Martham, which could have been much closer had the visitors been able to convert their chances.
The early play was all Loddon with chances falling to Rose, Knights and Mirner. Martham's only reply was a tame shot along the floor and a long-ranger well off target.
Rose won a free kick from which Rob Andersen could only find Crossway Terrace. Martham threatened from their left wing but good defensive work from Summons and Frost suppressed the initial danger, until a decent shot was well saved by Chris Andersen. Gorbould headed a corner over and then hit the bar from a Summons free-kick and Loddon struggled to find a finish. Martham continued to pose a threat and from a second corner a decent drive was held by Andersen. Frost shot wide, a Weston cross cum shot just missed the target, but just before the break a good move ended when Frost found Rose whose shot was fumbled by the visiting keeper for a lucky opener showing the value of hitting the target.
Summons stung the keeper's hands, a Child free kick was deflected over and Hancock blocked twice to ensure Loddon held onto their half-time lead.
Two minutes into the restart a Summons corner was met by Rob Andersen and Child got the last touch to extend Loddon's lead.
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Martham responded with a shot over and Weston made two good blocks. Loddon's best move of the day followed when Frost evaded a challenge found Mirner who moved it quickly to Rose and the keeper touched Rose's curling shot round the post.
On 55 minutes, Mirner won a free kick 20 yards out, Child curled it into the box, Mirner got a touch and Rob Andersen slid in at the far post unnoticed to finish to make it 3-0.
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Again Martham responded and Chris Andersen was at full stretch to save. The same forward, unmarked, missed an easy header from the corner.
Over the following minutes Bishop, Stanford and Grandao came on for Summons, Child and Mirner. It wasn't long before one of them had an impact. Out of nothing Knights swung in a low cross and the stooping Stanford deftly headed home with the defenders looking to their lino for a non-existent offside.
Another good passage of play led to a decent strike from Bishop and Chris Andersen held a deflected shot under the bar before Martham's centre forward missed another clear chance. Stanford had a shot saved and Grandao wasted his cross after good work from Weston and Rose went just wide trying to pass the on-rushing keeper.
Constant prompting and probing and all round energy earned Josh Knights the Musker McIntyre MOM.
Loddon: Andersen C; Weston-King, Gorbould, Hancock, Andersen R; Child, Knights, Summons G, Frost; Rose, Mirner D. Subs: Bishop, Stanford, Grandao.