Dynamo secure point away at Chase Town
Dynamo recorded their first clean sheet of the season after an entertaining 0-0 draw away to Chase Town FC on Saturday.
With each team hitting the woodwork and failing to convert several goalmouth scrambles, both managers will have been happy to come away with a hard fought point.
For Loughborough in particular, the result was a huge improvement on previous seasons in which the corresponding fixture has resulted in 5-1 and 9-1 defeats at the Scholars Ground in recent years.
With both Ash Hodgkinson and Luke Smithson missing through injury, Dynamo welcomed back Danny Quinn and Edilson Antonio to the starting line-up.
However, half-chances for Alistair Smith and Luke Thorogood aside, the away team seemed content to maintain a strong shape and deny their opponents space in the first half.
But after 20 minutes a lapse in concentration almost saw Dynamo fall behind. A short back pass from defender Carl Sibson was seized upon by Chase Town winger Jacob Lovatt, but he could only hit the side netting having been closed down quickly by goalkeeper William Jaaskelainen.
Two minutes later the away side created a good chance of their own when Chase Town goalkeeper Curtis Pond produced a double save to first deny Karl Demidh and then Quinn on the rebound.
After 24 minutes, Jaaskelainen pulled off a wonderful save of his own to deny Lovatt who had been put through on goal by Chase Town danger-man Ryan Wynter.
Further half-chances followed as both Demidh and Quinn failed to hit the target for the away side, while Wynter could only hit his shot high and wide as the first half came to a close.
If the first-half had been an a cagey affair, the second period was anything but, with Quinn beating two players before shooting narrowly wide to set the tone in the 46th minute.
Both sides then squandered wonderful chances within a minute of each other. Dynamo were guilty of wasting a golden chance as Demidh again failed to keep his shot on target after being set up by the ever-improving Smith, before William Whieldon headed wide from just three yards.
On the hour mark, Dynamo went even closer. A wonderful cross field pass from Jared Holmes found Thorogood on the right, whose cross was met by Demidh 12 yards out. The striker hit his volley into the ground and against the post, before Quinn reacted quickest to back-heal towards goal, only to see a defender hack the ball off the line.
Nine minutes later, Chase Town then hit the post direct from a corner kick, as Whieldon’s effort almost caught out Jaaskelainen direct from the set-piece.
A series of corners in the 79th minute saw the home side go close to breaking the deadlock, first when Dynamo midfielder Paolo Piliero was forced to clear off the line to deny Wynter, and then when O’Neill headed against the bar when unmarked in the middle of the penalty area.
But there was still time for both sides to create one more chance to steal all three points.
In the 85th minute Quinn closed down goalkeeper Pond, who’s clearance struck the striker in the chest and ricocheted against the cross bar. Then in the 2nd minute of injury time Chase Town right-back Michael Williams forced a wonderful save from Jaaskelainen with almost the last kick of the game.