Lowestoft Town 1 Leamington 1
In horrible wet and windy conditions, Lowestoft Town battle back from a goal down to get a 1-1 draw at home to Leamington to remain undefeated.
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Ainsley, Hayles, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Henderson, Fisk, Jarvis, Eagle, Bammant, Louis
Subs not used; Smith, Okay, Hodd, Clunan, Jessup
Leamington: Collett, Mace, Morley, Edwards, Pierpoint, Tank, Dodd (Moore 87 mins), Goddard (Magunda 80 mins), Moore, Newton, Batchelor
Subs not used; Wint, Connolly, Maher
Lowestoft made one enforced change from Saturday with Hayles coming back into the side in place of the injured Gleeson. The away fans were being vocal in the build up and continued this throughout the match, as the game got underway in wet and windy conditions.
An early one-two between Eagle and Henderson looked to have opened up Leamington but Pierpoint put in a great and well timed tackle in the box to stop Henderson getting a shot away.
Lowestoft were getting some good early joy down the right channel, as the blues looked to make an early impression. Leamington were also focusing their efforts down the right through Dodd but Haynes-Brown was defending well and with fifteen minutes gone it had been a solid start by Lowestoft. Fisk was playing like a dog that had been unleashed, giving the Leamington players no time on the ball and grabbing the midfield by the throat to ensure Lowestoft enjoyed some good possession.
An Eagle cross from the left looked like it would bring the opening goal for Lowestoft but with the ball landing right at the feet of Louis, it got caught up under the strikers feet and the danger was cleared by Leamington. Lowestoft continued to hold the upper hand as Haynes-Brown stung the keeper hands from the angle and the follow up shot from Eagle was deflected behind for a corner.
From the corner the crowd celebrated what they thought was an opening goal for the blues but with Henderson having used his hand to guide it home at the far post, the goal was ruled out and Henderson went into the referees book after eighteen minutes of play.
After a long trip the travelling supporters were still making plenty of noise for their side but a pocket of Lowestoft fans were now giving some back, as the atmosphere increased.
The Lowestoft midfield was looking solid with Fisk and Jarvis winning their battles and the wide men and wing backs combining well to use the space as the thirty minute mark passed and Lowestoft continued to look the most likely to break the deadlock.
Leamington were defending well though and just after the half hour mark and against the run of play, the away side were awarded a penalty and a chance to take an unexpected lead. Not for the first time in the match, Haynes-Brown was up against Dodd and with the Lowestoft defender having been judged to have shoved Dodd over in the area, the penalty was given. Up stepped Dodd and with him sending a poorly hit penalty to the right and Jones guessing the correct way, it was two penalty saves in two matches for the Lowestoft keeper and the score remained level.
Leamington were defending well against a strong Louis and Bammant in the Lowestoft attack, as half time approached. Just before the break it was looking like Louis was going to have the chance to send his side in leading but with him stumbling backwards after being found by Henderson, he wasn't able to get a full connection on the ball and sent a weak shot at goal that gave Leamington little cause for concern in first half stoppage time.
The second half started with Ainsley having to be called into action at the back, as a good ball saw a chance open up for Moore in the Lowestoft box but Ainsley was alert and made a great blocking tackle to stop the effort at goal. Lowestoft were looking like a team who were still in the dressing room at the start of the second period though and with an untimely slip in midfield, Leamington punished them. After latching onto the slip, they carved out a chance for Moore with some quick passing and from the edge of the area Moore drilled a shot across Jones and into the bottom far corner to give Leamington a 1-0 lead (53 mins).
Lowestoft had somewhat lost their shape but then they suddenly burst back into life with Bammant spinning off a ball from midfield in the box and forcing the away keeper Collett into a strong save. The save went into the path of an oncoming Jarvis who was following up well and with him connecting with his head, the keeper pulled off an outstanding save at full stretch to turn it over the bar, when it looked as if Lowestoft were going to be level.
Two chances in quick succession had fired Lowestoft up and it was Collett who was forced into action again, this time having to turn another Jarvis effort round the foot of the post.
Lowestoft had their backs up and with an Eagle corner seeing Louis rise for a header close in, the keeper saved again but this time Bammant was lurking to prod home and level the match up at 1-1 (66 mins).
The rain was continuing to poor down but Lowestoft had found their groove again and were looking like they might have a winner in them. A winner is what Lowestoft and Louis then though they had got, as the towering striker got in at the far post for a poachers goal but frustratingly the offside flag saw another goal ruled out for Lowestoft.
Fifteen minutes now remained and Lowestoft were looking the more likely to create something but as the rain worsened and Leamington made a couple of changes, the time slipped away and three minutes of stoppage time were entered.
A foul thirty yards from goal gave Eagle a chance to pull something out at the death but his free-kick went past the post and the final whistle went, seeing both sides leave the pitch with a point a piece.
With the exception of a ten minute spell at the start of the second half, this had been a good match and a good team performance from Lowestoft, who will feel slightly unfortunate that they didn't take all three points.
Everyone played a part and showed great character to come back from behind and earn a well deserved point for the team. The Man of the Match honours were to be battled out in midfield though, with Fisk breaking up the play and not giving the opposition time on the ball. While Jarvis also won his fair share of battles, stroked the ball around really well and got forward on occasions.
Therefore my Lowestoft Town Man of the Match is Rossi Jarvis.
Leamington were a great club with friendly officials, players and excellent supporters, who were vocal all game. A real credit to non-league football and we look forward to playing you in the reverse fixture. Safe trip home.
Lowestoft Town are next in action on Saturday when they make the lengthy trip to Stockport County.