Quinn Nets Winner
Loughborough Dynamo have continued their positive pre-season form with a 1-0 victory over local rivals Shepshed Dynamo at Nanpantan Sports Ground.
In a match of few clear chances, striker Danny Quinn’s third goal in as many games settled the contest for a Loughborough side missing six first team players.
A crowd of 92 braved the elements as heavy rain prevented either side from playing with any fluency in a match dominated by two solid defences.
As both sides tried to get the ball down and play in the opening minutes it was Loughborough who created the first shooting opportunity. A loose ball fell kindly for midfielder Roger Lee, but the Bermudian international could only fire over from distance with six minutes on the clock.
After the early scare, Shepshed were happy to keep possession at the back and enjoyed more of the ball, but it was Loughborough who looked the more dangerous, finding space on both flanks.
With 13 minutes gone, this space enabled Loughborough winger Lewis Hamilton to cut in from the left, before shooting over the bar from 20 yards out.
This turned out to be a rare chance as deteriorating weather conditions kept moments of quality at a minimum and with both sides guilty of sloppy passing and a series of fouls the game became devoid of any rhythm.
In the 27th minute Loughborough did put the ball in the back of the net after Quinn beat on-rushing goalkeeper Denham Hinds to a perfectly
weighted pass from captain Ash Hodgkinson. However, Loughborough’s joy was short-lived as the goal was chalked off for offside.
Having continued to enjoy the majority of possession, Shepshed had their first shot in the 31st minute. Midfielder Niall Prenderville finding the space to test former Crewe Alexander goalkeeper Scott Wardley following a scramble in Loughborough’s penalty area.
As the first-half was coming to a close, a rare moment of quality saw Shepshed’s Luke Richards dribble past two defenders, only for a team-mate to take the ball off him as he was well placed to shot, as the move –like the first half – petered out.
Despite a bright opening to the second half – which saw Quinn drag a shot wide of the post when unmarked from ten yards out – a series of substitutions from both sides failed to change the pattern of play.
It was the away team who created the game’s next chance, as midfielder Liam Hurst’s curling effort went close in the 56th minute, before the deadlock was broken by Quinn 15 minutes later. Right back Tom Rigby crossed for Hodgkinson, who jumped against the goalkeeper, the loose ball dropped to Quinn on the edge of the area, who kept his cool to drill the ball low into the net.
Shepshed were twice denied an equaliser from well-worked corners. First in the 74th minute when Lee cleared a goal bound header off the line, before an excellent save from Wardley denied centre back Joe Pheasant’s goal-bound header in the 82nd minute.
Loughborough defended their lead without any further incident, and as the final whistle approached there was still time for Rigby to hit the bar with an attempted cross.
Following the match, Loughborough manager Peter Ward was delighted with the defensive display his team produced against a side he labelled favourites to win the Midland Football League Premier Division this year.
He said: “I was pleased defensively and to build some momentum going into the season. Despite having six players missing we showed we are a good side.”
“We now have a settled defensive unit and we know the three up front [Demidh, Quinn and Hodgkinson] will score goals. I am reasonably happy with squad and believe we can make the playoffs this year.”