Dynamo 2 - 3 Dunkirk FC
Loughborough Dynamo’s pre-season preparation suffered a setback, as a team missing seven first team regulars was beaten 3-2 at home, to lower league opposition Dunkirk FC.
Dunkirk took advantage of an unfamiliar home line-up to secure victory with two goals from midfielder Oliver Clark and one from left back Ross Locky.
Dynamo responded through Sam Thorpe and new-signing Luke Thorogood but ultimately came up short.
After dominating the early exchanges, Dunkirk deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute. Locky beat Dynamo captain Ash Hodgkinson to Kieron Bradshaw’s low cross, meeting the ball at full-stretch to divert it into the net off the left-hand post.
However, the goal only served to inspire Dynamo, and the home side were level just six minutes later.
Central midfielder Roger Lee jinked past his marker before looking up and playing a perfectly weighted through ball to Dynamo number 9 Sam Thorpe. With only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker kept his cool to roll the ball into the bottom right-had corner of the net.
With the centre back pairing of Hodgkinson and Jack Andrews now cutting out everything that Dunkirk could throw at them, Dynamo began to dominate the game and created several good chances as the first half went on.
On 25 minutes striker Danny Quinn fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area after good work from another recent Dynamo signing Josh Riley. Luke Smithson then fired over just one minute later having been set up by Thorpe following Lee’s 40-yard pinpoint pass.
Further chances came and went as Lee and central midfield partner Paulo Piliero began to control the midfield for the home side. Thorpe and Quinn both went close before the break, but failed to test Liam Mitchell in the Dunkirk goal.
The away side started the second half with real intent, and they re-took the lead in the 52nd minute after Clark’s deflected strike sent Dynamo keeper Scott Wardley the wrong way and trickled over the line.
Both sides made several substitutions after the goal, but it was Dunkirk who seized the momentum, extending their lead in the 63rd minute, after Clark rose unmarked to head in George Harrison’s corner.
Six minutes later it was almost 4-1 as the away side hit the bar twice in quick succession. Substitute McKenna Parton’s 30 yard shot beat Wardley before crashing against the bar, and although the rebound bounced kindly for the attacking side, the follow-up header also hit the woodwork.
As the game opened up in the last twenty minutes, both goalkeepers were called into action. Another long range effort from Parton saw a good diving stop from Wardley, before Quinn fired straight at Mitchell when well placed.
Dynamo gave themselves a chance of salvaging something from the game in the 84th minute. Substitute Lewis Hamilton sent a deep cross to the back post for Hodgkinson, who headed back across goal and Thorogood finished well from 10 yards out.
The home side had a good chance to snatch an equaliser as the final whistle approached, but Thorogood fired over the bar from the edge of the area having been being teed up by Danny Quinn.
After the match, Hodgkinson said: “I thought the game was slow and scrappy. We had a lot of players missing, but it was a good chance for the manager to have a look at some trialists."
Asked his opinion on the new signings, the Dynamo captain replied: “We don’t know each other well yet, but I thought Josh Riley looked decent. He is young but looks to be a good player.”