Flat End to Season
By Stephen Denny
With promotion already secured, Church's 7th game in 2 weeks was a bit of an anti-climax, as they lost 2-3 to Loughborough Dynamo.
With players running on half empty, it was a case of just getting through the 90 minutes before the promotion party celebrations started.
The players arrived already in party mood, turning up in fancy dress costumes.
With their 4th game this week and 7th in last 2 weeks, players were looking a little jaded, particularly after Thursdays goalless draw against Bedworth United which guaranteed promotion to Step 3 at the first attempt, with the party going on til 3am.
Manager Ian Long made 5 changes to the starting line-up, with Gwilliams in goal for Evans, Parsons in central defence for Willets, youth teamer Ben Tlbury in for Turton, Waite up front for Lloyd and Yates returning from his week long trial with Sheffield United, for Sauane.
Church had an early scare when Gwilliams was left one on one to thwart a good chance for the visitors. In the 8' Piliero hit a good effort wide. In the 10' Ashmore crossed well for Waite to head just over before being judged to have pushed his marker. In the 11' Waite had a shot saved by Taylor before a Foster cross was headed over by Winwood.
GOAL! Church took the lead in the 17' when Waite fed the ball inside to Dave Bellis who finished beautifully to make it 1-0.
Church nearly had a second a minute later when a great solo run by Ceesay and a one/two with Waite saw Taylor save at his feet.
GOAL! Church's lead only lasted a couple of minutes as the visitors drew level in the 19', when good work from Karl Demidh saw him find full back Daniel Gordon who rifled a low shot past Gwilliams into the corner to make it 1-1.
In the 26' following a free kick awarded to Church, Carter rifled a shot which Taylor did well to touch over the bar.
GOAL! Loughborough took the lead after 30' when Tolani Omotula beat Parsons for pace and scored in off the post to make it 1-2.
In the 31' Demidh had a shot saved low by Gwilliams for a corner. In the 38' another great run by Ceesay ended with his shot being saved by Taylors outstreched legs for a Church corner. In the final minute of the half a well crafted moved from Church ended with a Ceesay shot being tipped over the bar by Taylor.
In the 52' Loughborough nearly added a third when Riley and Omotula linked well only to see his goal bound effort cleared off the line by Carter. In the 59' Ashmore hit a free kick hard and low but straight at Taylor who saved and in the 61' Carter fired a rasping effort just wide of the post.
GOAL ! Church pressure finally told however with an equaliser in the 64' after a fine flowing move between Yates and Ceesay, Ceesay's cross found Jordan Nadat, on as a substitute, for a tap in and level the game at 2-2.
In the 73' a drive from Omotula was blocked by Parsons for a corner and in the 76' Omotula put one over the bar after Ashmore failed to clear.
GOAL! The winner came in the 81' following a corner which was headed back across goal at the far post to find the head of Luke Thorogood who headed home from close range to make it 2-3.
Church had nothing left in the tank to come back and the game finished 2-3 to Loughborough.
The players were awarded the runners up trophy and medals after the game and the celebrations started.
Match Photos HERE