One goal enough for Loddon
Stalham Town 0, Loddon United 1A late Battisson goal was vital in keeping Loddon second in Dolphin Autos Anglian Combination Division One.With 55 points from 24 games they trail Holt by three points with three games in hand, but are pressed by Watton (53 points from 25 games, Kirkley & Pakefield (52 from 28) and Dereham Reserves (50 from 26) in a 30-game seasonWith the wind, Loddon exerted early pressure and their first real chance came in the eighth minute when Ricky Summons slipped a great ball through to Hancock.
Stalham Town 0, Loddon United 1
A late Battisson goal was vital in keeping Loddon second in Dolphin Autos Anglian Combination Division One.
With 55 points from 24 games they trail Holt by three points with three games in hand, but are pressed by Watton (53 points from 25 games, Kirkley & Pakefield (52 from 28) and Dereham Reserves (50 from 26) in a 30-game season
With the wind, Loddon exerted early pressure and their first real chance came in the eighth minute when Ricky Summons slipped a great ball through to Hancock. He should have shot with his left but tripped trying to get it to Battisson.
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Lovely play on the left by Dan Andersen and Battisson set up Wright for a drive but the home keeper stopped well. Robin Andersen crossed, Hancock controlled his header well to Gary Summons, but Shipley's cross only found the keeper. A jinking run by Wright then ended with a scuffed shot, and a Ricky Summons drive ended a decent spell of Loddon pressure.
Stalham then passed the ball well for a period but their efforts on goal failed to trouble Collins.
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On 30 minutes Gary Summons set up brother Ricky, who side-stepped his marker but had his shot well saved. A Stalham defender, under pressure from Battisson, then headed a free-kick onto his own bar.
Way found Dan, who chipped into Robin Andersen, Battisson challenged the cross and Ricky Summons' drive was again saved well. Hancock then had a great header taken at full stretch by the in-form home keeper.
Just before half-time, Shipley intercepted a dangerous Stalham break and started a good move ending with Dan Andersen heading just ove, after Ricky Summons was, yet again, thwarted by the keeper. Battisson headed a Way free-kick just over and Stalham hung on.
Against the wind in the second half, Loddon's defence was tested. On 50 minutes a long throw evaded Collins but Stalham's effort was wide. Five minutes later Robin Andersen was beaten and the home wingers' cross was struck well, but Collins saved down to his right.
Dan Andersen had a shot deflected, and the keeper pulled off a one-handed save from Ricky Summons.
Loddon then had a big stroke of luck. Stalham hoisted a free-kick into the box. Baylis got the ball stuck under his feet, there was a tangle of legs and the striker fell. No penalty given, and a let off for Loddon.
On 75 minutes, Marjoribanks gave Dan Andersen a very well-earned rest and Wright moved to the left.
Loddon then made the breakthrough. Clever play in a tight position on the right by Hancock ended in a ball played square. Battisson got in front of his marker and the keeper to touch home at the near post.
Loddon then seemed to find that little extra as Stalham threw caution to the wind. United closed down in midfield and up front, defended well at the back when stretched and cleared a series of corners with headers from Way and Baylis when even Stalham's keeper went forward.
Loddon survived to record a massive and deserved win.
An entertaining game played in good spirit by both teams…and the ref who kept his book in his pocket and a smile on his face!
Team: Collins, Shipley, Way, Baylis, Andersen R, Hancock, Summons G, Summons R, Andersen D, Battisson, Wright. Subs: Marjoribanks, Brown, Sadler.
Tomorrow Loddon entertain Scole 2.30pm.