Lowestoft Town 0-1 Harlow Town
Harlow Town edged through to the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup after a controversial win at the Amber Dew Events Stadium.
Lowestoft knew the match was going to be tough, having lost on the road against the same opponent in the league, and were given a bonus twenty-eight minutes into the affair, as Nigel Neita picked up a straight red card for hacking down Callum White. It was one of the afternoon's many dubious decisions, however at this point the Trawlerboys perhaps should have been a goal up. Jake Reed found White free in the box after a beautiful ball in, but the wing-back's volleyed attempt from a few yards out sailed well over the crossbar.
After the dismissal, tempers began to rise and a number of scraps between players arose; the referee struggling to keep the game in order. Reed fired a low shot at goal, which was comfortably held, before the header from a Harlow corner was diverted over Ben Dudzinski's crossbar. Players went into the dressing room with the score level pegging, yet Lowestoft would have been more optimistic about the remaining forty-five, after dominating first-half possession and having the man advantage moving forward.
However, in the second half things would even out as a whole. Harlow began to get on the ball more and although the home side went close again, as Travis Cole's header had to be tipped over by goalkeeper McNamara, the visitors took the lead on the sixty-two minute mark. Dudzinski was left helpless as Tommie Fagg curled an excellent effort into the corner of his net, and the occasion was met with a siren-like celebration from the away end, which quite frankly scared the living daylights out of everyone else in the ground!
The Trawlerboys continued to press for a goal but seemed to have no luck. Substitute Harvey Hodd was closed down well by the keeper when one-on-one and Shaun Bammant's fizzed ball into a dangerous area evaded everyone. A disappointing day concluded when in injury time, the referee also reduced Lowestoft's group to ten, as Travis Cole was wrongly adjudged to have kicked McNamara on the ground. Questions do have to be asked about the ruthlessness of a side who were shutout at home with an extra man for sixty minutes, however the defeat will hopefully act as a reminder that league form is absolutely vital right now; Lowestoft surely keen to hop out of the relegation zone as soon as possible.