Lowestoft Town 0 Leiston 2
Lowestoft Town show some confident passing but lacked an end product in a 2-0 defeat at home to Leiston, in their last home pre-season match.
Lowestoft Town (starting line-up): Swatman, Marsden, Hayles, Gleeson, Smith, Radomski, Ainsley, Okay, Fisk, Eagle, Louis
Subs used; Mills, Jarvis, Jessup
Subs not used; Edwards-King, Haynes-Brown,
Academy keeper Asa Swatman was called into the squad for Lowestoft and started the match, while Radomski was played in front of the defence in a flexible looking 4-1-4-1 formation.
Leiston fielded a side that contained one of their summer signings Bullard in defence and two ex-blues in Mitchell and Francis.
The game kicked off in scorching hot conditions and was just five minutes old when a cross from the left found an unmarked Louis in the Leiston area with his header forcing a good stop from the keeper. Soon after this a Leiston break caught Lowestoft out at the back with Parker in a great position to open the scoring but he dragged his effort past the foot of the post.
The on looking crowd were then treated to a moment of comedy, as a baby seagull somehow managed to get tangled up in a tackle between the two sides and amazingly came away from it with the ball.
Lowestoft were playing it out well from the back and Leiston were employing the tactic of looking to catch Lowestoft on the break but with fifteen minutes gone, Lowestoft gifted Leiston the lead. The usually solid looking Lowestoft defence managed to get themselves in a bit of a mess and with Swatman trying is best to stop Lowestoft conceding their first goal of pre-season, Francis fired it home from close in for 1-0 (15 mins).
Lowestoft were still finding some nice passes but Leiston were looking a well drilled side and were also looking fairly solid in defence.
A short drinks break allowed both sets of players to take onboard water, before a free-kick from Boardley forced Swatman to get down really well in the Lowestoft goal and turn it round the post.
Fifteen minutes of the half remained and Lowestoft looked comfortable with the ball but were missing that key end product to unlock the away sides defence and not even a cracking effort by Radomski could penetrate, as it zipped past the upright.
As half time approached Lowestoft started to press up the field more, looking for an equaliser and with Louis showing great strength, he was bundled over to give Lowestoft a free-kick in a promising position. Up stepped Smith, who's free-kick had the keeper beaten all ends up but agonisingly came back off the post and into play.
Lowestoft earned another free-kick before the break with Louis having a go but not finding the target, as Lowestoft headed for the dressing rooms knowing they'd passed it okay but had not really found the quality in the final third.
For the second half Lowestoft introduced Jessup and Jarvis for Swatman and Radomski and they were straight out of the blocks with some quick passing and movement. It was Leiston however who nearly doubled their lead, when Francis was given too much room down the left and he slide it to Parker but his shot was fired wide of the target.
At the other end Louis showed one of his great strengths by turning well on the ball and getting a shot away quickly but the keeper was equal to it and scrambled it wide of the goal.
Leiston hadn't really done enough to warrant a second goal but a second goal is what they got when Akurang got himself past Marsden down the left and with him getting to the byline and heading into the box, Marsden brought him down and was clearly disappointed with himself at giving away a clear penalty. Up stepped Heath and tucked the ball away expertly into the bottom corner to give Leiston a 2-0 advantage (53 mins).
Lowestoft were still getting the ball but had lost their creativity a bit and were still missing an end product, as Leiston looked to Francis down the left and Lowestoft started to commit a number of fouls through frustration.
Another dangerous free-kick was awarded to Lowestoft with Ainsley going over on the edge of the box and yet again Smith struck it sweetly but yet again it came back off the post when it looked like it was finding the top corner.
Leiston were now sitting off Lowestoft a lot more as the blues were afforded a bit more space and Louis was just unable to get over the ball enough in the Lowestoft attack, as his header went over.
Louis was working hard but it was clear that he was struggling without anyone supporting him either up top or in the hole behind him, with a clear gap between the Lowestoft midfield and the striker.
More good football by Lowestoft saw Marsden hit one with the outside of his foot but it didn't have enough on it to trouble the keeper and that final piece of the jigsaw wasn't quite fitting into place at the end of the Lowestoft moves.
Another Leiston counter attack saw Winter miss the target for Leiston and then moments later Winter was involved again but this time Jessup got down well to save.
Lowestoft re-introduced Radomski and also threw Mills into the mix in place of Marsden and an injured Eagle. The changes and shift in formation provided more support for Louis up top but Lowestoft still couldn't find enough quality to unlock the resolute looking Leiston defence. That was until towards the end of the match when Louis got the better of Mitchell and was pulled down in the box for a penalty to Lowestoft. Louis picked himself up and opted to take the penalty himself but it wasn't hit with any real conviction and the keeper saved.
There were a number of cards shown during the game and a few more were added to the total in the closing stages, as a frustrating day for Lowestoft came to an end and Leiston left the Crown Meadow as 2-0 victors.
Pre-season is all about looking at the players, getting fitness into the players and trying new formations and even though the result and performance isn't crucial in pre-season games, Lowestoft would have liked to have come away with a win in a tough test against a good Leiston side.
That was the final home pre-season game for Lowestoft, who now have two remaining pre-season matches, starting at Bury Town on Tuesday night and then at Kings Lynn Town next Saturday.