Dereham Town 0 Lowestoft Town 3
Lowestoft secure their fourth clean sheet in as many games with a 3-0 win at Dereham, in a high tempo match that saw a solid performance by the blues.
Lowestoft Town (starting line-up): Jessup, Hayles, Gleeson, Gaughran, Smith, Marsden, Okay, Radomski, Eagle, Henderson, Bammant
Subs used; Fisk, Mills, Haynes-Brown, Ainsley
Subs not used; Jones
After impressing when coming on Saturday, Polish box-to-box midfielder Radomski was given a starting birth for Lowestoft, while Marsden was given an opportunity on the right wing. Bammant was returning to his club from last season and was joined in attack by Henderson.
The first half was played at a frantic pace right from the off, with both sides popping it about on the deck and the game being just twelve minutes old before Lowestoft took the lead. Following some excellent build-up play, several players were involved in a lovely worked goal that ended with Bammant finding Henderson at the far post and him in turn putting it on a plate for Eagle to score from a couple of yards out for 1-0 (12 mins).
Both sides were showing plenty of gusto but Dereham were lacking quality in the final third and Lowestoft were looking fairly untroubled in defence, while continuing to probe from midfield.
It was Lowestoft who were looking more accomplished in attack and there were a couple more opportunities during the half in which Lowestoft could have extended their lead but instead the team opted for one extra pass too many, instead of somebody putting their laces through the ball.
The half ended with Lowestoft looking comfortable though but that was more than could be said for Bammant, who after being on the end of a wild boot, left the ground at the end of the game on crutches with a gash just above his ankle.
Lowestoft made a couple of changes during the break as Mills and Ainsley replaced Bammant and Hayles but the game continued where it had left off, at a furious pace. Marsden had now been dropped into a right back position, while Ainsley had taken up position on the right wing.
It was clear to see that Dereham had come out for the second half playing a bit higher up the pitch, which was allowing Lowestoft more space to get in behind. It therefore wasn't long before the space was exposed and from an early second half corner, Lowestoft doubled their lead. The corner was sent in by Eagle and with Gaughran up from the back, he arrived eight yards out to finish like a striker and send a sweet side-footed volley crashing against the underside of the bar and into the next for 2-0 (53 mins).
Just moments later Dereham got numbers forward and showed their first real sign of threat on the Lowestoft goal, as Jessup was forced to save.
The pace of the game was still being maintained at an incredible level and this was really suiting Lowestoft, who's movement and passing was making it difficult for Dereham. Lowestoft were now getting plenty of joy down the right with Marsden ably supporting from right back and Ainsley using the space to send a number of balls into the box. It was an Ainsley ball from the right that saw Lowestoft get their third goal of the night but Dereham were somewhat unfortunate as an Ainsley cross struck a hand from no more than a few yards and the referee pointed to the spot. Ainsley was as cool as you like from the penalty spot last season and yet again he stroked the ball home to move the scoreline on to 3-0 (61 mins).
Ainsley was involved again as he sent a nice clipped ball forward from a central position this time and with Mills getting the better of the defenders, his flicked header beat the advancing keeper but also beat the crossbar as the goal tally remained at three for Lowestoft.
Twenty-five minutes of the match remained when Lowestoft made another double substitution, as Fisk and Haynes-Brown took to the field in place of Okay and Smith. The changes didn't knock Lowestoft off their stride though and following another good move, Radomski found Eagle, who dragged his effort wide of the target. Moments later a low accurate pass by Haynes-Brown was taken well by Eagle to get another sight at goal but his shot was saved by the home keeper.
There was a clear gulf in class in the final third with the Lowestoft midfield really shining and Dereham working hard but looking somewhat toothless up front.
In saying that, Jessup was forced into his second save of the night, getting his body in the way of a shot to keep the Lowestoft goal intact.
As the final ten minutes of the match arrived the pace unsurprisingly started to drop off a little and Lowestoft cruised along to the final whistle to secure a deserved and fairly emphatic 3-0 win.
It was a very solid performance from Lowestoft with great individual performances all over the pitch and the team are certainly growing and improving with each pre-season game.
Lowestoft Town are next in pre-season action this coming Saturday, when they welcome Leiston to the Crown Meadow.