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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

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Brantham Athletic
Lowestoft Town
Tue 23 Jul 19:45 - Friendly Full time

Brantham Athletic 3 Lowestoft Town 3

A culmination of tired legs from a hectic pre-season schedule and a very poor and dry pitch, resulted in Lowestoft labouring to a 3-3 draw at Brantham Athletic.

Jones, Okay, Gleeson, Mitchell, Haynes-Brown, , Henderson, Fisk, S Ainsley, A Smith, Frew, J Ainsley
Subs; Williams, Gaughran, Godbold, Fitzgerald, Viner

A culmination of tired legs from a hectic pre-season schedule and a very poor and dry pitch, resulted in Lowestoft labouring to a 3-3 draw at Brantham Athletic.

Lowestoft started the game in 4-4-2 formation with Adam Smith on the left of midfield.
The game got off to a fairly sluggish start on a very dry pitch, which was making it tricky to play on and judge the movement of the ball. However, in the seventh minute and with a route one ball, the Lowestoft defence were caught seemingly watching the ball and the number 10 for Brantham latched onto it in the area and scuffed a volley passed Jones to give Brantham a 1-0 lead (7 mins).
The game then started to settle and was pretty even but Brantham were looking solid on the ball and nearly doubled their lead with a ball across the face of the Lowestoft goal but nobody was at hand to take advantage.
Adam Smith had been deployed in a left midfield role for the evening and with Lowestoft bursting out from the back, the usual left back noticed that the keeper was off his line a bit and hit a super shot from 25 yards out that went inside the post and brought Lowestoft level at 1-1 (15 mins).
It had been a fairly timid start by Lowestoft up until the equaliser but the goal seemed to wake them up a bit, as they started playing with a higher tempo. Stuart Ainsley was looking busy in midfield and nearly put the Trawlerboys ahead, dragging his shot wide of the target on the half hour mark.
For a friendly there was a fair bit of niggle in the game and from a resulting free-kick on the edge of the Brantham area, Lowestoft took the lead. Adam Smith bent the free-kick in and with the keeper stretching across goal he could only push it into the path of Jack Ainsley, who showed the instinct of a striker to follow the free-kick in and feed off the scraps to prod home for 2-1 (39 mins).
A Henderson header came back off the upright before halftime but at the break Lowestoft went in leading.

The second half started well enough for Lowestoft with a great ball from deep by Stuart Ainsley, finding his brother Jack over the top of defence but unfortunately he got right under his early taken shot and hit it high and out of play.
Jack Ainsley was again showing the qualities of a good striker, watching the line superbly and always looking to catch the defence on their heels with his pace.
Lowestoft as a team though were now starting to visibly tire and Brantham were catching them out with balls over the top and in the channels. On a couple of occasions the Brantham number 10 was able to get in on goal as a result but luckily for Lowestoft, Jones was alert and off his line quickly.
After a couple of scares at the back for Lowestoft, Brantham finally drew blood again with a good passing moving, involving the number 8 and ending with the number 10 again, who fired across goal from the angle and past Jones for 2-2 (59 mins).
Lowestoft made a quick couple of changes with Gaughran replacing Stuart Ainsley and Viner coming on for Jones between the sticks.
Brantham continued to get joy over the top though and were testing the Lowestoft back line and with the number 9 getting in behind the defence and off the shoulder of Gleeson, Viner was forced to get down and save well to deny Brantham taking the lead.
Lowestoft reacted to the attempt with Okay and Fisk winning some of the midfield battles and as a result they enjoyed a brief spell of football and a spell which ended up seeing Jack Ainsley bundled over in the Brantham area for a clear penalty in the 89th minute. Jack brushed himself down, confidently stepped up and on the referees whistle he tucked it away to send Lowestoft 3-2 up and heading for another victory (89 mins).
Brantham were not to be denied a fair draw though and immediately went up the other end, catching Lowestoft cold and carving the defence open, ending with the simplest of chances to tuck the ball home for 3-3 with all but the last kick of the game (90 mins).

After the game I caught up with Lowestoft Town Director of Football Craig Fleming to get his views on the game:-
So, what are your thoughts on tonight's game? "I'm not gonna beat around the bush, it wasn't very good. There were a lot of factors in that, as there were a lot of tired legs and not just that but a lot of tired minds also. We've had a lot of pre-season games and with a few lads missing it's been the same bunch turning out Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. On top of that it has to be said that the pitch was horrific and was more like an end of season pitch. So there were lots of factors in there and it wasn't a good one tonight but it might just give them a kick up the backside".
Were there any positives to come out of the game, as Jack looked good again? "Yeah, Jack Ainsley looked tremendous up top and he looks like a natural striker. That's where he started his career and then got converted to right back when he was eighteen but he looks like a natural striker and looked very sharp for us. I also thought Curtis looked stronger in the second half, so there's a few positives to take from the game and it's just a case of getting minutes into legs and hopefully getting through games without picking up injuries".

Terry Bullen

Train with the Best - Win a training session with the England 6-a-side squad

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