Dynamo comeback stuns Stamford
A superb second half performance saw Loughborough Dynamo come from behind to seal a 3-1 victory against Stamford.
After an even first half, winger Liam Adams gave the away side the lead early in the second period with an unstoppable strike that went in off the post.
But Dynamo were undeterred and secured all three points with goals from Alistair Smith, Karl Demidh and Paolo Piliero.
Dynamo, who gave a debut to goalkeeper William Jaaskelainen, under the watchful eye of his father – Bolton Wanders legend, Jussi – welcomed back Demidh and Jack Andrews to the starting line-up.
And the home side started the game well, looking comfortable in possession for long periods. But it was the direct football played by the opposition that resulted in the clearer chances early on.
A long ball forward in the 3rd minute forced Jaaskelianen to rush out of his area to head clear. However the weak header fell kindly for Stamford, who were denied a clear sight of goal by a wonderful covering challenge from centre back Carl Sibson.
Stamford thought they had taken the lead in the 16th minute when Adams got the better of Dynamo full-back Tom Rigby on the right, before delivering a dangerous cross for Jays to chest the ball into the net from 4 yards, only for the goal to be correctly ruled out for offside.
With Dynamo manager Pete Ward imploring his side to be more accurate in possession, Demidh had Dynamo’s first real chance in the 19th minute. However, the forward, playing his first game of the season following suspension, could not hit the target with a shot from 30 yards out.
Sibson was then called into action three times in quick succession as the away side looked to catch Dynamo on the break - the defender doing brilliantly to get strong challenges in to break up play when finding himself one-on-one with Stamford’s forwards.
The best chance of the first half went to the away side in the 30th minute. Andrews was booked after being adjudged to have brought down midfielder Rob Morgan 20 yards from goal, but Jaaskelainen produced a good save low to his left to deny left-back Eliot Putman from the resulting free kick.
After a scrappy first half, Stamford winger Adams set the tone for a wonderful second period in the 48th minute. The pacey attacker picked his spot and unleashed an outstanding shot from 30 yards which left Jaaskelainen with no chance to give the away side the lead.
However, the goal only seemed to inspire Dynamo who took control of the game, with their midfield trio of Smith, Piliero and Jared Holmes beginning to dominate proceedings.
And it was Smith and Piliero who linked up with great effect to draw Dynamo level in the 65th minute, as the later delivered a pinpoint cross to leave Smith with a simple finish.
The goal was just rewards for the young midfielder on loan from Mansfield Town, who is looking more confident with every game.
After Jaaskelianen had denied Stamford substitute John King with a smart stop in the 69 minute, Dynamo then took the lead three minutes later, as Karl Demidh cut in from the right and unleashed a superb strike into the top left-hand corner of the net.
With the home side now in complete control, Piliero added a third in the 95th minute after a goalkeeping howler allowed the diminutive midfielder to score from six yards out.