Nick Read hails Loddon United’s ‘massive’ win

Nick Read hailed his side’s “massive” win as Loddon United picked up their first win in eight league attempts on Saturday.

Wroxham Reserves were the victims at George Lane as Ashley Ling’s debut brace and an Aaron Jones goal earned the hosts a 3-2 win and eased them into 11th place in the Anglian Combination Premier League with a delicate gap to the relegation pack.

“Saturday was absolutely massive, a massive win,” said the United boss. “We thoroughly deserved the win. The officials gave them a penalty for handball which I thought was never a handball. The other was a mistake by us. But there you go. Other than that we deserved the win.

“It has been a difficult few weeks, simply because Saturday was the first time I’ve had all my players back. I’ve had so many injured that it was the first week since mid-October they were all available. We’ve had five or six out and they were all available Saturday and they will be again this weekend.”

United had picked up just one point from their last seven games before last weekend, and Read admitted it has been a tough time.

“The results reflect how tough it has been,” he said. “It is a squad game but at the end of the day, when you are missing half your first team you would want to select, I think it’s cruel to bring in our fringe players and ask them to perform the same as them.

“They did the best they could and there were a couple of draws in there, but there were games we lost where we shouldn’t have lost and it is how it is.

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“Hopefully it’s just been a freak period and now they are all back, and if we can keep them all together, I think we will start picking points up.”

But the Loddon boss conceded there may need to be a little patience first. United face a trio of Premier Division title challengers over the coming weeks, with Saturday’s trip to Acle followed by a visit from Mattishall and the trek north to current leaders Cromer.

“Definitely we want to ease those relegation worries,” added Read. “We are away at Acle this weekend and that will be a very hard game. I would be more than happy to take a point there and I believe they will win the league personally.

“But we’ve beaten Mattishall at home in the cup and hopefully we can do the same thing in the league with them next week, and we probably should’ve had at least a point off Cromer at home. So we are not too fazed by those two. We will see.”

• REPORT – Loddon United 3, Wroxham Reserves 2

Loddon entertained Wroxham Reserves in their first home fixture this year, as Weston started in front of Hancock and G Summons switched roles with Clarke.

Both teams started brightly but the swirling wind made it difficult to play controlled football. On 27 minutes Weston, enjoying his advanced role, saw an early effort well saved.

The Loddon defence were resilient and stood firm, snuffing out all of Wroxham attacks. On 32 minutes Jones was fouled from behind, he dusted himself down and calmly placed the resulting free-kick into the far corner with the keeper static.

This seemed to wake Wroxham and again the defence had to be alert with Durrant and Baylis looking assured.

Wroxham, 1-0 down at the interval, started the second half brightly and should have been level after two minutes but shot over the bar.

On the hour Loddon introduced new signing Ashley Ling for Collins.

R Summons returned to first team duties after a two-month absence. Wroxham forced a corner and with a keen linesman, granted them a penalty as Hancock was adjusted to use his shoulder in attempting to clear. This was calmly placed in the corner to level it. Loddon had the perfect response as Ling restored their lead with a volley off a G Summons header back.

On 80 minutes Loddon switched off and allowed Wroxham to equalise with a clear run on goal from a quick throw-in, but with seven minutes remaining Ayre ran through and found Ling in space. From 10 yards out he made no mistake.

Wroxham with virtually the last kick fired high and wide to the relief of the home support as United won.

Musker McIntyre MOTM could have gone to any defender but for an explosive 30 minute debut, it went to Ashley Ling.