Report by Scott Hargreaves 
Maidenhead United fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat away to Loughborough in the first game of 2024 on Sunday. Individual brilliance was not enough to secure three points for United with goals from Aran Carter and Harry Tozer, along with a penalty save from Ben Lazarus. The Magpies are now winless in four league games, despite continuing their impressive cup form in the same time. 
The match started cagey and equal, in terms of chances both teams struggled to create any clear-cut shots at goal. United’s best chance of the opening encounters fell to Christian Edwards who snuck his shot between the keeper’s legs, only to be denied by the post. 
Shortly after, Loughborough showed their clinical edge, something which United have lacked all season. Hunter found space centrally before drilling the ball low across the goal into the corner, out of the reach of Ben Lazarus. 
United responded quickly through Carter, with all his own work Carter won the ball high before calmly rolling past the keeper and smashing into the corner. 
It looked as though the game would slowly go into half time level, but with 30 seconds on the clock Loughborough were awarded a penalty after their player was adjudged to have been fouled by Phil Lant. Loughborough’s captain, Morgan, stepped up and struck the ball hard to Lazarus’s right but the Magpies keeper stuck out a strong hand and parried the ball away – keeping the score level. 
HALF TIME – Loughborough Futsal 1-1 Maidenhead United 
With the score level again, the second half started similar to the first – a very even match-up. It took until half-way through the first half for the games next goal to come, Loughborough took the lead again but this time through Borges. A long pass cut through the United defence and Borges got a deft touch on the pass to nick it away from Lazarus and into the net. 
Maidenhead thought they had equalised once again when Carl Tappin glanced the ball into the net, however, the referee judged it to be handball and ruled it out. 
Things went from bad to worse for the Magpies, as no more than a minute later Brayden Lissington was sent off for a cynical foul resulting in his second yellow card. 
With Maidenhead down to four players, Loughborough dominated possession and played around United’s defensive shape with relative ease. Their possession was rewarded when a cut back from wide found Morgan centrally who was able to finish first time back across goal, making up for his earlier penalty miss. 
As a result of the goal, United were able to reintroduce another player (but not Lissington) to take their on-court players back to five, due to the rules in futsal being slightly different to football. 
Needing to chase the game, United began to create more and more chances without much Loughborough pressure. The hosts struggled to handle and began conceding fouls as a way of stopping the threat. 
Harry Tozer earned a foul on halfway for Loughborough’s sixth foul resulting in a long penalty for the Magpies and a potential route back into the game. Tozer took on responsibility and coolly slotted it into the bottom left corner of Meisel’s goal. 
With just over two minutes left on the clock, Loughborough defended resolutely and United could not break them down while in search of an equaliser meaning Loughborough too all three points. 
FULL TIME – Loughborough Futsal 3-2 Maidenhead United 
Maidenhead will look to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host Derby Futsal at Bradfield College, while Loughborough 
Tagged as: Club, Futsal
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