Watton luck for Loddon in cup

Watton Utd 1, Loddon Utd 1 aet (Watton won on pens)WITH six Loddon players from the previous week's win at Watton unavailable, a repeat of the 4-1 win seemed unlikely.

Watton Utd 1, Loddon Utd 1 aet (Watton won on pens)

WITH six Loddon players from the previous week's win at Watton unavailable, a repeat of the 4-1 win seemed unlikely.

As it turned out, the replacements in this Mummery Cup tie put in a decent performance but lost a penalty shoot out in the Halloween fog.

Play started evenly with Loddon efforts by Ford from 30 yards, and a wide strike from Hancock. But on 10 minutes the Loddon defence failed to attack a long goal kick and their hesitation allowed a Watton striker to nip in and toe the ball into the net against the run of play.

Hancock was just beaten by the keeper to a knock-on by Marjoribanks before the latter headed just wide. Sayer suffered a head injury and on 25 minutes had to be replaced at the back by Marjoribanks, with Wise coming on up front.

A good block by Summons and take by Collins foiled the few threats of Watton. A neat Hayton pass produced another good effort from Hancock which was tipped wide by the keeper. This continued spell of pressure saw Squire challenge in their box and another Hancock effort tipped over.

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Greenhalf made a superbly timed challenge to win possession, Hayton took another strong challenge from behind and Ford slipped the loose ball through to Wise, who beat the keeper in style to deservedly put Loddon on terms.

Bussens, gradually growing in confidence on his debut, set up Hayton who shot wide, and then had a penalty appeal turned down.

The long clearance by Watton was covered by Ford and Squire cleared with an overhead kick.

The second half saw Loddon less dominant. Hancock put Wise away but the keeper did well as he tried to chip him. Squire won an important challenge and found Hancock. Summons and Ford got involved and good pressure by Bussens and Gricks gave Greenhalf a chance to cross. Marjoribanks read the situation and twice blocked the counter-attack.

There were no attempts on goal until the 70th minute when Collins pulled out a great stop from a Watton header. Loddon countered. Hayton found Wise but his effort was wide, and within a minute Collins was called into action again, gathering a shot on the line. Further pressure, and shot from Watton's left back was held by Collins.

Bussens chipped through for Wise but this time his control let him down. Bussens saw a shot from distance go just wide. With extra time looming and Loddon under the cosh, Bussens - who can be satisfied with his first outing - was replaced by Creegan.

Ford found Gricks, then Greenhalf put a ball into space for Wise to chase. The keeper came a long way, both went for the ball. Wise went down but the ref waved play on. Loddon had their last push and a cross from Creegan found Marjoribanks. He got it back into the box and an overhead kick by Gricks only found the keeper.

A half-chance for Loddon, two Watton headers over, a terrific challenge by Marjoribanks and some ball juggling from Ford saw out the 90 minutes with the mist rolling in.

Extra time started with Collins stopping a good effort with his feet and another Watton shot way over. Loddon responded with a Summons shot on the turn taken just under the bar and Summons again firing a sweet volley over, both set up by Hancock.

Creegan shot wide, Marjoribanks headed wide and Collins gathered Watton's last-minute corner to take the game to penalties.

Greenhalf and Summons converted, Collins saved penalty No 4, but with three Loddon misses, Watton went through 3-2.

Squire, Gricks, Greenhalf and Hancock all had decent games. Ford should be well pleased with his performance, but Musker McIntyre MoM has to go to Marjoribanks for a superb display in the unfamiliar role of centre-back after the loss of Sayer.

Loddon: Collins; Ford, Squire, Sayer, Greenhalf, Hancock, Summons G (capt.), Gricks, Bussens, Marjoribanks, Hayton. Subs: Wise, Creegan.

Loddon United Reserves 2, Spixworth United Reserves 0

LODDON Reserves eased into the next round of the Morley Cup.

At George Lane, Loddon manager Simon Key made changes after last week's home defeat by Newton Flotman. Matt Cornish was recalled at right-back and Dan Ayre joined the attack.

Home keeper Robbie Howes was in fine form, pushing away a goal-bound shot one-handed. Loddon's top scorer Alex Brown broke the deadlock with a stunning 20-yard strike. With Matt Ayre and Richard Way solid at the back, the visitors had few openings. Dan Ayre made the game safe when making no mistake from close range.