Lowestoft Town 2 Solihull Moors 0
Lowestoft Town get their first Conference North win with a richly deserved 2-0 home victory against Solihull Moors. Goals from Henderson and Louis.
Platinum Match Sponsor - Custom Kitchens http://www.customkitchenslowestoft.co.uk/
Platinum Sponsors Man of the Match - Ashlee Jones
Mascot - Owen Baldry (5 years old); an avid Manchester United fan and his favourite Lowestoft Town player is goalkeeper Ashlee Jones.
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Ainsley, Hayles, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Henderson (Okay 84 mins), Fisk, Jarvis, Eagle (Smith 84 mins), Bammant, Louis
Subs not used; Clunan, Marsden, Jessup
Solihull Moors: Breedon, Nottingham, Gough, Taundry, Daly, Elvins, Brown (Taylor 70 mins), English, Bogle, Knights (Byfield 70 mins), Story
Subs not used; Rosser, Denny, Fleet
Lowestoft Town went into the match making just one change to the side from Saturday, as Hayles replaced Smith in the starting line-up.
The opening ten minutes of the match saw both sides feeling each other out and settling into the game but just after the ten minute mark the Lowestoft faithful had to hold their breath. A ball over the top by Solihull saw Jones have to come out as the last line of defence but with Bogle getting there just before him, his prodded effort rolled wide of the open goal with Lowestoft hearts in their mouths.
At the other end, Eagle was quick to close down and steal the ball off Taundry and with him heading towards goal a left foot strike looked the order of the day but instead the Lowestoft winger decided to send it across to Louis at the far post and with the ball being too long, the Solihull defence dealt with the danger.
The game was now starting to come to the boil and following a quick corner, Story sat a ball up into the box for the visitors and found the towering centre-back Daly but with him getting up well to head the ball down, Jones stopped it creeping inside the post with a good save. Minutes later the action was up the other end again, as Bammant stole the ball off Taundry in a dangerous area and with him putting it across the face of goal, Solihull took a few attempts before clearing. However, Henderson, who had been harassing the opposition in midfield, was lurking on the edge of the box and with him hitting a delightful rising shot, the ball flew inside the post and Lowestoft were 1-0 to the good (23 mins). It was a great boost for Lowestoft to get in front but Solihull were looking lively in attack and were getting balls into the Lowestoft box quickly, to try and find their tall forwards.
The Lowestoft defence were certainly having to be watchful of the danger posed up front by the Moors but Hayles was looking good at the back and on occasions was covering well in behind his defensive partner and captain for the night Gaughran.
Confidence was on the up for Lowestoft and with Eagle getting a sight of goal again he chose this time to have a pop, as his effort swerved in towards the far top corner but was a yard too high as the thirty minutes mark arrived and the stands started to chant "Come on you blues".
Lowestoft were now seemingly enjoying themselves with Jarvis and Fisk breaking up the play really well in the centre of the pitch and the blues knocking it about at a good tempo. Eagle and Bammant combined well with the strong forward being pulled to the ground for a free-kick on the edge of the box but Henderson drilled the kick into the Solihull wall. Eagle had looked a little out of sorts on the opening day at Chorley but was involved again as he squared one from the left that Henderson missed but Louis didn't, as the visiting keeper Breedon was forced into a save from the 6ft 2in striker.
Lowestoft looked good but Solihull still had that sense of danger about them and with the interval fast approaching, Story delivered from the right corner and with it going right across the Lowestoft box, Knights was free to get his head on it from a couple of yards out but sent his header against the post. As both sides left the field at the break the on looking crowd were left to digest what had been a good half of football, with Lowestoft having had chances to add to their single goal and the visitors also having made chances to get on the scoreboard.
The sixty minute mark was reach with the second period taking a bit of time to come to the boil but with just four further minutes passing, Lowestoft Town got a crucial and well worked second goal. The irrepressible Henderson crossed from the right to find Eagle at the far post and with him steering it into the path of Louis, the striker couldn't miss from six yards out to grab his second goal in as many games, to send Lowestoft 2-0 ahead (64 mins).
Shortly after the second goal, Solihull looked to the bench and made a double substitution with Taylor and Byfield coming on in place of Brown and Knights. Lowestoft were containing Solihull really well though and were looking good for their lead with a solid second half showing.
As the final fifteen minutes approached, Solihull clearly had to get numbers forward but the Lowestoft defence were working well as a unit with Hayles in particular looking sharp and focused at the back. The defence was also being given a great solidity with another commanding performance for Jones, who was the first voice that could be heard whenever the ball came anywhere near the Lowestoft rearguard.
A fizzing low shot flew towards goal from the right by the Solihull right-back Nottingham but Jones was down strongly to stop it and keep the number in the Solihull goal column at zero.
Ten minutes remained, as Lowestoft started to drop off and Solihull went in search of a lifeline to get back into the game and set up a nervy few minutes. Lowestoft kept showing great resolve though and brought fresh legs on for the final six minutes of the match, as Smith and Okay replaced Eagle and Henderson.
The minutes were starting to run out for Solihull though and with some excellent defending at the death by the whole Lowestoft defence, the blues kept their goal intact until the final whistle to collect three points and a clean sheet.
Following on from Saturday's excellent point this was a solid and well deserved three points, giving the team a very good start to the season. However, the management team will no doubt be eager to keep the players and supporters feet firmly on the floor, in what will be an exciting but tough, long and testing season.
The was a great team performance from front to back against a big side and all areas of the pitch contained solid showings for Lowestoft. Bammant shone again, while his strike partner Louis continued to use his size and strength to cleverly gain advantage in the final third. Fisk and Jarvis worked doggedly in midfield to break the play up well throughout and Jones saved well again while also showing a good commanding presence in the area.
When thinking of Man of the Match though, it came down to two people for me. Rikki Hayles defended superbly at the back and was noticeable sharp and watchful when at times covering in behind his defensive teammates. However, my Man of the Match was Chris Henderson, who yet again harassed the opposition all over the pitch, ran himself into the ground and scored a good opening goal to set up the win for the blues.
Next up for Lowestoft Town is another home game, when on Saturday they welcome AFC Fylde to the Crown Meadow (3pm kick-off).
See you all Saturday and thank you for your continued excellent support!