Loughborough University 0-1 Shepshed Dynamo
Derby delight for Dynamo
By Lucas Monk
Shepshed Dynamo extended their unbeaten run with a smash-and-grab win at Loughborough University.
Substitute Pearson Mwanyongo curled home a late free kick to steal all three points. The victory lifts Shepshed to 5th position in the Midland Football League table.
Dynamo came into this match in imperious form. But they had never before tasted victory at the Loughborough University Stadium.
Loughborough were also defending an impressive unbeaten streak of their own. They had not suffered defeat in any of their home matches this season. A difficult afternoon was in prospect for the visitors.
Damion Beckford-Quailey named an unchanged lineup for the third game in succession. Jake Betts again captained the team as he did on Tuesday night.
The hosts made much of the early running. Captain Matty Crookes saw a low free kick deflected wide with 14 minutes played.
This forced Shepshed to defend a succession of corners. The pressure increased with each, but they were able to clear their lines.
Loughborough then had a glorious opportunity to take the lead shortly thereafter.
Karl Whymark relinquished possession in careless fashion, allowing the Students to counter.
Crookes then burst onto Merlin Ferrinho's magical switch of play.
He bore down on goal and fired toward it, but Brandon Ganley held his nerve and parried the low effort wide.
Loughborough continued to control possession and apply attacking pressure. Jeremiah Dasaolu jinked toward goal and let fly from the edge of the box only to see his shot headed away.
Joel Bonner then met Dasaolu's corner at the back post, but he could only head over from yards out.
A minute later, Dynamo responded with their first tangible attack of the match.
Home 'keeper Jake Hilton had to be alert to hold Sam Moore's low shot after Whymark seized upon a loose pass.
Shepshed were growing into the match. Whymark then tested Hilton with a drive from outside the area.
And the visitors almost took the lead moments later, when Moore headed Liam Hurst's cross onto the bar.
They had a brief scare when Joe Pheasant sold Ganley short with a backpass, but Crookes could only fire wide. And they would finish the half the stronger side.
Whymark drew a flying save from Hilton after Josh Thomas surged forward on the left and crossed low on the stroke of half-time.
Loughborough would make the more sprightly start to the second period.
Jordan Connor, Dasaolu and Ferrinho all went close inside the first 10 minutes following the interval. Of the trio, Ferrinho went the closest. He fired just wide of the post after darting into the box and recovering from a tackle.
Shepshed were under the cosh. Further efforts from Crookes and Kitan Sorunke followed. The hosts continued to pass and probe, stretching play well and retaining possession.
But for all this, Loughborough could not find a breakthrough - and they would come to rue this.
In the 77th minute, a proverbial spanner in the works.
Jay Galloway's crude hacking down of Dynamo substitute Mwanyongo earnt him a straight red card.
And the visitors capitalised, but not before firing a double-salvo of warning shots. Moore blazed over from substitute Matt Melbourne's cutback before the latter drew a low save from Hilton with an effort from range.
Then came another preposterous, and costly, foul. Dan Hanson was the culprit on this occasion, scything down Moore on the edge of the area with 10 minutes to go.
Up stepped Mwanyongo. He arrowed a laser-guided shot around the wall and into the bottom corner. This sparked joy amongst those supporters who had made the brief journey from Shepshed. And a melee that saw Melbourne and Bonner receive yellow cards.
That goal would prove decisive. Dynamo managed the remainder of the game well and conceded no further chances. For Loughborough, the combination of Galloway's red card and Mwanyongo's free kick was terminal. They never recovered.
This was something of a smash-and-grab victory, but Shepshed can take great credit in having battled until the final whistle. They have finally ended their winless run at the Loughborough University Stadium. They have extended their impressive unbeaten run further still. And they are now 14 matches without defeat.
For how much longer will this streak last? Time will tell. But what is certain is that they will be confident of maintaining it when Long Eaton United visit The Dovecote next Saturday.
Dynamo: Ganley, Hill, Pheasant, Betts, Acott, Prenderville, Moore, Hurst (Phillips 89’), Whymark, Thomas (Mwanyongo 59’), Patrocinio (Melbourne 46’).
Unused substitutes: Doy, Day.
Loughborough: Hilton, Lewis, Bonner, Jackson, Galloway, Sorunke, Ferrinho (Holland 87’), Connor (Olapo 78’), Crookes, Hanson, Dasaolu.
Unused substitutes: Merrick, Moran, O’Keefe.
Booked: Bonner (Loughborough). Acott, Melbourne (Shepshed).