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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

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Thetford Town
Lowestoft Town
Tue 30 Jul 19:45 - Friendly Full time

Thetford Town 0 Lowestoft Town 2

On a bobbling and slopping pitch which made passing difficult, Lowestoft put in a workman like performance to beat Thetford Town 2-0.

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

On a bobbling and slopping pitch which made passing difficult, Lowestoft put in a workman like performance to beat Thetford Town 2-0.

Lowestoft started the match with the 4-1-4-1 formation that seems to be working for the team. Adam Smith was given another start on the left of midfield after featuring there against Brantham and Gleeson took up his usual commanding spot in front of the backline.

The opening ten minutes of the match was mainly constricted to the centre of the pitch. However, with Lowestoft being quicker to the ball and with Thetford regularly getting caught in possession, Lowestoft looked the more settled of the two sides.
With Lowestoft looking more settled they appeared to be favourites to find the first opening but were finding it hard to pass the ball about in their usual slick fashion, on a pitch which was bobbling and not conducive to flowing football. This resulted in the first half hour of the match passing with neither keeper being called upon and a sloppy game taking shape.
It was all looking a bit uneventful, until Henderson fired up his afterburners on the right wing and with him bursting into the box in full flow, the keeper took his legs away and left the referee with little option but to point to the spot. The cool, calm and collected figure of Gleeson stepped up and tucked the ball away with ease to send Lowestoft 1-0 ahead (35 mins).
Lowestoft very nearly doubled their lead in a matter of seconds with a squared ball across the box but nobody in a white shirt could latch onto it. As the half started to wind down and with him having a frustrating night so far, Frew was picked out by Stuart Ainsley and after showing some quick feet, he got a shot away from distance which took a slight touch off the defender and fizzed wide.

Lowestoft nearly doubled their lead shortly after the restart with Henderson receiving the ball in a forward position and after showing a good touch he fired a low shot in on goal but the keeper was down well to save.
In the sixtieth minute Lowestoft made four changes with Jack Ainsley, Eagle, Haynes-Brown and Williams coming on for A Smith, Okay, S Ainsley and Mitchell. The changes immediately had an impact and even though the pitch was still proving tricky, Lowestoft started to impose themselves a bit more. Their increase in control on the game was then matched in the scoreline with some lovely build up football and quick passing, ending with Henderson finding Eagle from the left corner and his shot getting a slight deflection before finding the back of the net for 2-0 (64 mins).
The number 15 was looking tricky since coming on for Thetford and with him threading a great pass and sending 16 in on goal, he threw a great opportunity away by dreadfully shanking his shot wide.
That chance in truth was all that Thetford has mustered this half and with the fitness levels of Lowestoft now reaching the heights required for the start of the season, they started to find lots of space and clearly had the upper hand.
An Eagle corner found Williams at the far post but from two yards out he blasted over the bar, as Lowestoft looked like they would add more goals to the scoreline before the end.
Eagle was at the heart of everything since coming on and was also sending in some really lovely corners. It was his pass which released a regularly pushing up Williams and put him in round the back of the Thetford defence but with the keeper saving on the line, Thetford kept the difference at two goals.
Credit has to be given to a couple of the younger players who had travelled to support the squad yet again and even though they would have liked more time on the pitch, Fitzgerald and Godbold made a brief six minute appearance in place of Frew and Henderson. Both of the lads got involved when coming on and with them and Lowestoft easing through the final moments, it was another pre-season victory for Lowestoft.

The first half wasn't much of a game with Lowestoft struggling with conditions but in the second half I felt Henderson showed good vision, passing and work rate. While Eagle certainly made a difference when coming on, being at the heart of everything, scoring the second and setting up a few chances after that.

With the start of the season getting ever closer, I spoke to midfielder Andrew Fisk after the game:-
It looked a bit tricky out there tonight on a bobbling pitch? "Yeah it was tough to be fair but we tried to play at times and we're going to get pitches like that in November, December, January time and will have to prepare and deal with it. So in a way it was kind of a good test, as we will come up against pitches like this".
Second half it looked like we handled the conditions a bit better and the fitness levels looked like their getting up were they need to be for the start of the season? "Yeah, the lads are quite fit at the moment and we've obviously had a few games to get us match fit. So it's coming together well and the lads are looking sharp".
So with the fitness levels nearly there, what about the mental side of things after the disappointing end to last season? "To be fair it's forgotten now and the lads are just on it and looking forward to the new season. Obviously we've just got to put all our efforts into going one better".

Terry Bullen

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