Scole moved up to 3rd place in Division one just 1 point off second with a very hard fought and scrappy win over a typically robust and resolute Loddon United side whose performance certainly wasn't one you would expect from a side rooted to the bottom of the league following the amazing run of form from Cromer Town.
Scole as usual were missing a few players. Keeper Kai Hewitt once again ably deputising for Ben Buckmaster. Defenders Nat Ireland & Reece Lanchester were away as was winger Dave Coleman and attacker Liam Smith. Returning however were youngsters Kieran Manning and Luke Hunt with manager Jon Abbott naming himself on the bench.
Loddon started well and the sheer size and physicality of the majority of their players threatened to overwhelm the home side especially striker Matt Ayre who at times in this game was unplayable. It was Eyre who opened the scoring on 7 minutes, delivering a strong header beating Hewitt after a free kick on the right. Scole had chances, skipper Ben Norton-Hugman had a shot hit the post shortly after Connor Kerry had a good header cleared off the line. But Loddon looked dangerous every time they attacked especially from dead ball situations. Scole finally got the equaliser 2 minutes before half-time when a very good deep cross from left back Luke Hunt found Harry Browne lurking at the back post and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
Following a ferocious talking to at half-time Scole came out much better for the second half and the industrious Connor Kerry was so unfortunate to have 2 efforts strike the woodwork in the opening 10 mins of the half. Scole took the lead when James Harrison rose to plant a strong header home on 64 mins following good work from Brown on the left and the home side breathed a sigh of relief. They had keeper Hewitt to thank when he tipped over a powerful long distance effort and the referee for disallowing a Loddon equaliser for an offside decision. Scole were backs to the wall in the final minutes when on 92 mins Loddon striker Ayre saw red for a shocking lunge tackle on Harrison which means he will miss the return fixture on Easter Monday as well as 2 other games much to Scole's relief.
A good win if not performance which keeps Scole well in the exciting promotion dog-fight that is going on in Division One of the Anglian Combination.
No game next Saturday for the 1st team although the reserves are at home to Martham Reserves 2.30 ko. 1st's are away to Loddon Utd on Easter Monday at George Lane, Loddon NR14 6NB. 12:00 Kick Off.
5 sports clubs amongst winners in the Jewson Building Better Communities competition.