Anglian Combination Division Three
SPROWSTON ATHLETIC RESERVES 6, LODDON UNITED RESERVES 2
LODDON RESERVES manager Simon Key included Steven Wise in the starting line up following Matt Cawston's return to Hempnell.
The hosts' striker Dave Matthews burst through the Loddon defence only for his low shot to go wide of the post. With just five minutes gone Loddon again came under heavy pressure and following a lofted ball into the area Dave Matthews slotted home from close range.
On 20 minutes Loddon levelled when Matty Ayre headed home a Dan Andersen corner. Minutes later Loddon went ahead when Neil Ford fired home.
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Sprowston scored two quick goals to go in at half time leading 3-2.
With just eight minutes gone of the second half Loddon could have levelled but Dan Andersen's spot kick was pushed wide by the diving Sprowston keeper. Sprowston striker Dave Matthews was soon in the action when beating Grice for his second goal.
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Ado Battisson went close but his flick from close range glanced over. Sprowston made it 5-2 on 75 minutes and with just minutes left Matthews raced onto a cross ball and fired home for his hat-trick.
Loddon: C Grice, J Gunton, T Rolfe, M Taylor, M Ayre, M Parkin, D Andersen, S Wise, A Williams, A Battisson,, N Ford, (S Warman 75).
ON Wednesday the Reserves entertained Thorpe Village, who had enjoyed a good result in their first game, and earned a 2-1 victory. Loddon took the lead early in the first half through Steven Wise and enjoyed some good possession and played some good football but were unable to convert that into a second goal.
In the second half Village came out all guns blazing and equalised. Loddon kept battling away and on several occasions the visitors' goal led a charmed existence. The introduction of the third sub Mark Taylor provided the pivotal moment. He didn't actually do anything but it allowed Richard Greenhalf to push forward and his cross was met at the far post by Matt Parkin to score the winning goal. Again a positive outlook for the Reserves in what looks to be a tough division.
If anyone has any free time on a Saturday morning that they would like to utilise then we've got something you could do with it, although it does involve marking the pitch and posts and rope when the First XI are in town. Nice work in the summer but sometimes damp in the winter. Don't be shy…
t LODDON UNITED RESERVES 2, THORPE VILLAGE 1
Thorpe Village followed their fine 5-1 win against Hempnell Reserves with a narrow defeat on Wednesday evening from Loddon Reserves who were new to Division Three. Loddon gained promotion from their past season's fine efforts in Division Four.
The home side went ahead after 15 minutes but the young Thorpe defence held out until the break showing possibilities of gaining something from the game from an evenly contested encounter. Ten minutes into the second half Danny Read put the 'Villagers' on level terms after Ramsay Gashut had struck the Loddon woodwork with a 30 yard drive but Loddon denied Thorpe a deserved point, nosing ahead again with just ten minutes remaining.
The Reserves were denied the possibility of adding to their good opener at Scole when Wortwell Reserves withdrew from Division Six.
t HEMPNALL RESERVES 0, SPROWSTON ATHLETIC RESERVES 0
This was a much improved performance from the Hempnall Reserve team, who worked hard for all the game. Again these two equal teams played a lot of good football despite there being very few chances on goal. Manager Nick Page and his capable assistant David Arnold were a lot happier than they were at this time last week. Hopefully this team containing a lot of young players will now be able to pick up points in their league which we must admit is a very difficult one, as they are up against several first teams.