Dynamo Slip to Late Penalty
A late converted penalty by playoff chasing Stocksbridge Park Steels deprived Loughborough Dynamo of a deserved share of the points at a wintry Nanpantan Sports Ground.
Dynamo started with the same side that started the midweek win away at Peterborough Sports, but it was the visitors who threatened first. Brodie Litchfield broke clear of the Dynamo back line in the eleventh minute and drew a good save from goalkeeper Charlie Taylor. The ball rebounded out to Joe Lumsden, who saw his shot go across the face of the Dynamo goal. Two minutes later another break saw Taylor just beat Scott Ruthven to the through ball.
Dynamo opened the scoring in the sixteenth minute. Centre back Luke Foster, making his first home start after signing from Barwell, headed goalwards from a corner. Dynamo number 9 Tolani Omotola, close to the six yard box, turned the ball home.
The twenty-sixth minute saw Lumsden’s looping held by Taylor, but two minutes later Taylor could do nothing to prevent Stocksbridge levelling the match. A centre from the visitors left was headed back across goal by Lumsden to Ben Rhodes who drove home to equalise.
The rest of the first half became a close affair, both sides evenly matched, with neither goalkeeper really stretched. In the forty-third minute however, a low ball across the Dynamo penalty area reached Litchfield who netted only to be given offside.
A minute later Omotola broke clear of the Stocksbridge defence only to lose his footing and stumble, the ball being cleared and ensuring the half time arrived with the teams level.
Dynamo were first to threaten after the restart when, from a fiftieth minute corner, Omotola couldn’t make a clean connection from close in, Stocksbridge goalkeeper Jordan Greaves blocking the ball. The ball went out the six yard box to Dynamo left back Louis Keenan who saw his powerful shot blocked again by Greaves, the ball being cleared.
Two minutes later an even batter chance arrived with Omotola getting clear of the away defence for a one-on-one with Greaves, but the Dynamo front man rolled the ball wide of goal to give Stocksbridge a reprieve. In the fifty-eighth minute, following a Dynamo corner, Danny Gordon drive the ball low across the six yard box from practically on the away goal line, but no player from either side was able to get a touch.
By this stage of the match the snow that had fell at times just before the game and during the first half started to become more persistent, a powerful wind driving it across the pitch making playing conditions difficult and making it difficult to see all the pitch clearly from a spectators view.
Litchfield was able to get onto the end of a Stocksbridge centre in the sixty-second minute to head wide. Litchfield threatened again in the seventy-first minute when he shot from an angle and drew a save from Taylor with his outstretched foot.
Back came Dynamo and Gordon saw his long range shot in the seventy-fifth minute go wide. Three minutes later Omotola found Luke Smithson who also shot high and wide from just outside the visitors’ penalty area. In the eighty-second minute Omotola managed to get on the end of a long ball, but shot straight at Greaves.
These missed chances came back to haunt Dynamo in the eighty-fifth minute, A penalty was awarded by Referee Richard Watson following a Luke Thorogood tackle on a Stocksbridge forward. Left back Rory Coleman took the spot kick and scored low past Taylor’s left hand.
As the game went into added time Dynamo were awarded a free kick in central position outside the away area. Keenan’s shot direct from the free kick went just over the bar. In the last action of the game Taylor made a good save from Lumsden.
Stocksbridge came away with all three points to maintain their playoff chase, but Dynamo came to rue the missed chances on the day that should have seen a share of the points.