LTHC Men’s 2nd XI 0 vs Stratford Men’s 1st XI 2

MRHA T1 – Midlands 2

Saturday 9th March 2019

On the back of a run of difficult games, Loughborough Men’s 2nd XI played host to top of the league Stratford Men’s 1st XI. With low availability Town were forced to start the game with the bare 11 with captain Adam Lamb starting along the forward line, and keeper Joe Oram making just his second appearance.

Town started the game solidly, holding a compact press in their own half and attempting to hit Stratford on the counter. This made things difficult for the visitors who struggled to find an opening for much of the first half, and started to resort to long balls which were easily dealt with by Jim Shepherd and David Ottewell. Unfortunately, Town were unable to prevent Stratford from opening the scoring up midway through the half.  Stratford received an opportunity from close in which was slotted past the keeper to give them a 1-0 lead. Loughborough didn’t let their heads drop as in previous weeks. Energetic performances by Hitesh Patel and David Henderson to aggressively win back possession allowed Loughborough to take the game to Stratford and create several half chances before the break.

Another slow second half start for Town saw the home side concede a couple of goals early on following the break coming from a combination of defensive errors and strong play from the Stratford side. Despite the efforts of Matt Parry and a series of excellent cross field passes from Henderson to drive the team onwards, it would be a tough day for the Loughborough forwards who were unable to hit the mark.

Stratford were able to complete the scoring after an unfortunate deflection off the stick of the otherwise solid Jim Shepherd sent the ball past Oram. The fatigued side still continued to fight until the final whistle, and can hope to take the same determination and work rate on to their last few games.

A final score of 5-0 was difficult to take for a Loughborough side that had given their all and might feel that the score line reflects a little harshly on the overall team effort. Regardless, with only three games to go, Town’s promotion push will almost certainly require maximum points from their remaining matches as they look to return to their early season form.

Categories: Match Reports