Loddon United complete Wells Town brace to ease Anglian Combination relegation fears
Loddon United completed a quick-fire double over Anglian Combination Premier Division basement boys Wells Town with a 4-0 win at College Road on Saturday.
Seven days earlier United came away with a 1-0 from their hosts, and at the weekend the score was much more convincing.
Loddon's performance this weekend was far from their best, but much more convincing than the previous weekend, coming with another another clean sheet to boot.
After a slow start Loddon pulled themselves together and had a decent spell of possession. A lovely cross by Weston gave Jones the chance to shoot wide.
On 17 minutes, good play again by Parkin set Gary Summons away only to be fouled just outside the box. This was Jones' territory but he did not really get hold of the shot, which was blocked. However, Ling was on hand to follow up and convert to make it 1-0.
Wells broke left and a terrific shot from outside the box was superbly palmed over by Stebbings. Andersen and Durrant combined neatly to find Ling. He in turn fed Jones and Gary Summons was again fouled, this time rather crudely; the free-kick cleared.
Rick Summons headed a Wells free kick clear to Gary who put Ling away, but he showed far too much to the keeper who was able to gather. Durrant's presence was enough to force the Wells number eight8 to head a free-kick wide.
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Loddon should have had their second on the half hour. Gary Summons made a good run to receive Jones' throw. From the by-line he flicked back a delightful ball to Andersen supporting, but from a tight angle he volleyed over.
Almost immediately Loddon had a mighty escape. Wells went long, their number six picked up Durrant's clearance, scuffed a shot which Stebbings came to gather, but the ball bobbled and bounced up and off the keeper's chest for a delighted poaching Wells forward to tuck away – only to see and offside flag.
Loddon then had a good spell. Andersen controlled on his chest and went on one of his now famous runs, played a delightful chip to Parkin in the Wells area and a simple square ball gave Gary Summons an easy tap in for Loddon's second.
Loddon pushed for the third but were too often caught offside and also found the Wells veteran number four in good form.
The second half started with Parkin picking up a rare loose ball, he slotted in Ling whose shot was just wide. Wells retaliated but Stebbings was equal to it. With 25 minutes remaining Jones made way for Shane Smith for his first run out and it wasn't long before he had an impact. Hancock's sweet cross came in, Summons again got his head to it but it was blocked by a defender and fell kindly to Smith who gratefully fired home for a debut goal with possibly his first touch.
Stebbings made a top class save from a well struck penalty to preserve his clean sheet, before Loddon produced the best bit of football and best goal of the day. Hancock ran at three defenders, drew them all and played the ball out to Ling now in space. His inch perfect cross picked out Collins at the far post and he made no mistake with a perfect downward header.
A good day at the office giving Loddon breathing space between them and the relegation places, plus a spirited performance from our visitors and it was nice to see so many of them stay to watch our following Reserves game – we hope they enjoyed our hospitality.
Stebbings was a contender for a couple of top saves and penalty stop, but Musker McIntyre man of the match goes to Gary Summons for a tireless display up front, another goal and a hand in two others.
• Loddon: Stebbings; Hancock, Baylis, Durrant, R Andersen; Weston, M Parkin, R Summons, Jones; G Summons, Ling. Subs: Collins, M Ayre, Smith.