Lowestoft Town 1-0 Merstham
Dale Brooks grinded out his first win as manager of Lowestoft and snapped a four-game losing streak against the same side that started the run three weeks ago.
Merstham won 6-2 that day but it was the Trawlerboys that started the better this time and, in the first ten minutes, were presented with two free kick opportunities from just outside the box. Adam Smith whipped his attempt just wide but Jacek Zielonka's wild strike sailed way over the bar, as fans wondered if the home side would live to rue these opportunities. However one of the themes of the day was the visitors being caught out by balls over the top and Zielonka opened the scoring just moments later by capitalising on one from Harry Barker. The Pole found himself through on goal and coolly slotted past Chris Haigh to open the scoring; a fine finish and his second goal in as many games.
Lowestoft's injury struggle took another hit when Adam Smith had to be withdrawn just twenty minutes into the match and this caused a re-shuffle as Jacek Zielonka moved over to wing back and Cruise Nyadzayo was introduced as a forward. Yet despite the changes the Trawlerboys still looked good for their lead and continued to show themselves as the better side going forward. Merstham did have a few looks at goal towards the end of the half but Ben Dudzinski was equal to Andre McCollin's attempt and full back Maynard-Menett's strike. Cruise also had a good chance to double the lead for Lowestoft but his header couldn't quite nestle into the bottom corner and snuck just wide.
In the second half, the home side seemed more content to soak up Merstham's pressure. Captain Ryan Hall went close with a free-kick and Antone Douglas fired just wide on the turn but the Trawlerboys did well to prevent any clear looks at goal and held on well for the clean sheet and the win. Rossi Jarvis might have killed the game off in injury time but Hall was there on the goal-line to deny a second and ensure the match ended one-nil to Lowestoft.
After the match, manager Dale Brooks expressed his delight in claiming a first win and said 'the boys stuck to the game plan and worked tirelessly throughout. We played on the front foot a bit more today, we were a bit braver and it's paid off for us.' In regards to the injury concerns, Brooks added 'I'm sure we'll be able to put a team out on Tuesday night and if they work like they did today then hopefully we can keep this run going... we mustn't get too high when we win and we certainly mustn't get too low when we lose.'
Lowestoft- Dudzinski, White, Smith (Cruise, 20, Bammant, 89), Cole, Barker, McAuley, Fisk (Hodd, 79), Jarvis, Reed, Borrer, Zielonka
Merstham- Haigh, Maynard-Menett, Harrison, Cooper, Douglas, Hamilton-Forbes (Jones, 67), Bennett (Laeongo, 67), Samuels (Bonnett-Johnson, 83), McCollin, Hall, Addai